The mid-May 2020 Question
How does the Church… and individual churches… move forward, into the next 12 months, in these days of SARS-CoV-2 (also known as COVID19)???
In the next 12 months, how do we pastorally ‘tend the flock’?
How should American churches proceed? We’ve moved from the ‘no gatherings’ of mid-March to a place of total confusion in politics, economics and infectious disease in mid-May?
Iglesias y líderes de Baja México… Hermanos Méxicanos… ¿Que hacemos adelante? Despues ‘la cuarentena’… ¿Cómo portarnos en una realidad de riesgo?
I would like to propose an organizationally radical, Biblically historic, healthy, and low-risk idea for the next 12 months.
I am calling this proposal ‘Committed Physical Groupings’ or CPGs.
Why propose that Churches do not physically ‘re-open’ until the ‘greater than 70% achieved’, and CPGs be formed immediately?
Why propose that the internet and on-line content can actually be ‘glue’ to help all this work?
Why do I suggest this become the ‘life-connection of the Church’ until… at least… June 2021?
<>NO HERD IMMUNITY UNTIL JUNE 2021
The basic principles of epidemiology tell us that any public gathering of people will be moderate-to-high risk for COVID19 infections until >70% ‘herd immunity’ with anti-COVID19 antibodies is a reality in that region.
This is true for all of the United States and Baja México.
At the earliest point, the needed level of >70% COVID19 ‘herd immunity’ will not happen until June 2021. [Of note, mid-May 2020, the United States is estimated to have between 1.5% and 5% of that needed 70%].
Before true ‘herd immunity’, every well-attended event with people poses a moderate- to high-risk of infection occurring. This is especially true for infants, young children, elderly, and vulnerable populations.
Regardless of the ‘economic necessity to open up’, and regardless of the gallons of hand-sanitizer being used, the SARS-CoV-2 virus will follow its’ biology. Until a populated region is vaccinated and able to achieve >70% people with an active antibody packet against COVID19, there exists a moderate-to-high level of risk.
[See the Resources below for a discussion of ‘herd immunity’ and related topics]
<>Committed Physical Groupings (CPGs)
A Committed Physical Grouping (CPG) is a cadre of 10-15 individuals who create, and are committed to a closed social group that will exclusively meet together once or twice a week ‘as a small family of the larger Church family’ for the next 12 months.
CPGs would always meet in a designated, closed, non-public setting. Each meeting is essentially ‘closed’ to any other face-to-face attendance.
Members of the CPG will commit to practice full ‘physical distancing and reduced public exposure’ in their 24/7 daily lives, as mandated by governmental officials during the pandemic. This level of personal ‘isolation’ will limit the potential introduction of infection into the CPG.
The CPGs would be ‘built’ with a ‘no more than 4 households’ framework. CPGs would be ten to fifteen people:
<>10 non-co-residing persons, or
<>2-4 ‘families’ where adults+children equal 10-15 people total, maximum of 4 separate households represented
<>CPG groupings, such as ‘all family CPG’, ‘mixed family +singles CPG’, ‘all single women CPG’, etc. to be determined by congregational leadership.
<>We recommend against an ‘all-Youth’ CPG, as the national youth literature is currently describing infection-control adherence of 10-19 yr.-olds being problematic.
Other elements of proposed CPG meetings would be:
<>mid-week gathering, plus ‘watch-party’ of all-church on-line Sunday broadcast (everyone get up, get dressed, put on your shoes, git yer Bible, go to your CPG location and get loud!)
<>gatherings would conform to all State and Local laws regarding gatherings during any and all ‘Public Health Emergency’ conditions
<>How to Move Into CPGs
The church leaders/elders establish which CPGs they will personally oversee, and a clear ‘tree branch’ responsibility-oversight flow chart be established.
With that CPG creation, pastoral leader/couples be designated for each CPG. The church leader/elder contacts and enlist/recruit that CPG pastoral leadership.
Church Leadership/Elder Role with CPGs:
<>assist in the formation, approval, and launch of a CPG
<>choose the designated CPG pastor or pastoral couple
<>oversee, disciple, equip, support and encourage the CPG leader in your ‘tree branch’ with bi-weekly contact.
<>assist CPG pastor with problem-solving
<>During the COVID 19-CPG church life season, the CPG pastor(s) serve as THE Biblical oversight connection for those in the CPG.
<>The CPG pastors will live life and lead the CPG by proximity and example. If a CPG church-member has any need, the CPG pastor(s) will attend to that.
Gatherings of the CPG:
<>Bi-weekly, once mid-week and each Sunday with a ‘watch party’ of the larger church on-line content.
One tool the Holy Spirit set up for us to connect as the Church and individual flocks: the internet thru on-line content.
Other ‘Operational Details’ are available upon request: click ‘contact’ on the AdoreTheLord blog facepage.
Yes, this will be difficult to do.
Yes, there are complexities.
Yes, it would be nice to ‘all be together’… but dangerous.
Yes, the ‘on-line/streaming/Zoom meetings/broadcast services’ will be a life-line to the larger Body in that locale… via computers, cell-phones, iPads… whatever.
Yes, the Barna group estimates that you will have a +/- 30% of ‘only the building and Sunday service’ group of people. Be prepared to respect their decision to not be in a CPG.
Yes, the Church will thrive by a life of CPGs for a year.
Yes, we will thrive.
Finally, Yes, congregations are free to pursue what they value. Yes, a congregation may have a number of meetings with a lot of people, and nothing happens and nobody becomes infected. Yes, they took the risk and nothing happened.
(ps, CPGs are being considered in a number of locales, in a number of formats!)
written by crisbaj
© 2018-2020 by crisbaj/AdoreTheLord.blog All rights reserved.
All Scripture references from New International Version unless otherwise indicated.
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WHAT IS HERD IMMUNITY?
‘Herd Immunity’, also referred to as ‘community immunity’ is “when a high percentage of the community is immune to a disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness), making the spread of this disease from person to person unlikely.” [source: APIC]
John Hopkins epidemiology currently holds that >70% of a regional population will need to have effective immunity to halt pandemic spread of COVID 19, and an effective vaccine is hoped to have wide-spread distribution by Spring 2021 at the earliest.
CDC and Public Gatherings
SARS-CoV-2 Herd Immunity needed
HOW IS COVID19 HERD IMMUNITY ACHIEVED?
Two ways:  prior illness where the person recovers from COVID, and has developed an active ‘antibody response’ to that illness, making them immune to a re-infection, and  a vaccine that programs the recipient body with the ability to mount an active ‘antibody response’ if the SARS-CoV-2 virus, if it tries to infect the person.
WHY JUNE 2021?
As of this writing (May 2020), there is no vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.
Vaccine development is furiously underway, but due to human biology and vaccine immunology, the earliest a COVID19 vaccine would be found to be safe and effective will be Christmas 2020.
The earliest hundreds of millions of vaccine doses can be produced, distributed and administered would be June 2021.
CASE STUDY: Community Choir practice WA state Mar 17