One of our POJ leaders said: "These are trying times. I think our churches overall are doing a wonderful job of being the Church even when we can't be congregations." As state and federal leaders begin to discuss plans for returning to pre-pandemic operations, your session may be wondering when you can worship together at your church again. We remind you of Virginia’s current guidance:
- Executive Order 53, which was most recently amended on May 4, restricts operations of non-essential businesses through May 14. This document does not reference religious organizations, however POJ recommends churches follow item 8 for church business operation. POJ’s office will remain closed through May 14 and staff will continue to work remotely.
- Executive Order 55, a temporary stay-at-home order, prohibits all public and private in-person gatherings of more than 10 individuals through June 10. These restrictions apply to religious services, so churches should plan to continue holding worship remotely for the next month.
In addition to the orders referenced above, churches may refer to two documents (dated April 7 and April 10) provided by the Office of the Governor for faith communities. Find these documents and other information about faith under “What about religious services?” in a list of frequently-asked questions about EO 55.
All guidance is based on current information and may change. POJ will continue to offer resources related to Virginia’s pandemic response in future issues of FYI.