Update: Return To 100% Virtual Ministry
December 21, 2021
I'm writing to inform you that effective immediately Pleasant Hope Baptist Church is returning to 100% virtual ministry until further notice. As of today, the building is now closed to group events, ministry meetings, rehearsals or other group activities.
I made this difficult decision in consultation with the Executive Committee of the church: Diaconate Chairman, Deacon Daniel Whyte, and Trustee Ministry Co-Chairs, Bernita James and Lawrence Richardson.
Earlier this year, we determined that our church's threshold for in-person worship services would be a 5% Positive Infection rate based on the Maryland COVID-19 Data Dashboard. Since we returned to in-person worship in June 2021, the Positive Infection rate for Maryland has stayed beneath 5%. Earlier this month, the rates began climbing and then Maryland's databases experienced a cyberattack that disrupted the timely reporting of information about COVID-19 in Maryland.
Yesterday, Maryland's data systems came back online and showed that the 7-day Positive Infection rate for this week is 10.27% and the Daily Positive percentage is 15%.
Out of an abundance of caution and because of our earnest desire to do all we can to keep our congregation and visitors safe, we are now making the decision to go back to a 100% virtually gathered congregation.
We have already begun making adjustments and will remain sensitive to those who have technologically barriers.
By tomorrow morning, I will send another email with specific instructions and details on how you can stay connected with your church family during this period.
We'll continue to closely monitor the numbers and will return to our hybrid, in-person worship gatherings as soon as it is safer for us to do so.
These are difficult times for so many, but I still believe that God will see us through this! Please be very thoughtful regarding your plans for this Christmas weekend. As the angels in the Bible announced to those hearing about the coming birth of The Messiah: FEAR NOT! God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.
Standing in our power and with our sound mind, let us err on the side of caution, compassion, and care at this time.
I'll have more updates for you soon.
Should you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me or any member of our church's Executive Committee.
Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, III
Deacon Daniel Whyte
Trustees Bernita James and Lawrence Richardson