Our Statement on Continuing with Our Crusade During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As people all across Blair County, Pennsylvania, the United States, and the entire world deal with the effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic, some may ask how our team can still hold the Hope for America Crusade, scheduled for September 13-18, 2020. They may question if it is physically possible and morally right to gather together indoors to hold evangelistic meetings in a time of social distancing, masks, and shut-downs.
First, we deeply believe that telling people that they can have eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ is our top priority, the most important task we can undertake in life. Our crusade team and our partnering churches are certain that our allied charge to preach the gospel “to every creature” far outweighs any concerns of the current pandemic.
We were, however, far from cavalier in our decision to carry on. A great deal of prayer went into our choice to continue with the crusade, given the circumstances. We believe God has greatly blessed the effort and has worked and will continue to work through these meetings, as doors have been opened for us and every obstacle has been removed from our path.
Our team also consulted with Pennsylvania State Senator Judy Ward and an attorney from the Independence Law Center in Harrisburg about the current legality of holding an evangelistic religious crusade. Both assured us that we are well within our rights to do so. We also consulted the Blair County Commissioners to obtain suggestions to assure compliance to local mandates and protect the health of all in attendance.
Taking All Possible Steps to Protect Those in Attendance
Our crusade team and the partnering churches are holding these evangelistic meetings because we care about the eternal destination of people all across Blair County and Central Pennsylvania. Faith in Jesus Christ alone truly is the only way to eternal life, and He alone is the only hope for America. This is a message of good news that we must preach.
But we also deeply care about the safety and well-being of those who will attend our crusade, as well as the safety of those helping in the different areas of service. We understand that many people are concerned about COVID-19 and are taking steps to avoid contracting it. This worry may even cause them to consider not attending the crusade.
With that concern in mind, our team has taken every possible precaution to ease their worry and protect their health. During the crusade, we will take the following steps to help attendees remain well and safe:
- Masks are encouraged for those who desire to wear them and will be available for those who need them.
- Easily-accessible sanitation stations will be placed around the venue.
- All workers in every area of service will have a temperature check each night of the crusade. Experienced medical professionals will be among those taking temperatures, and they will also be on hand to offer assistance in case of any medical emergency.
- Our ushers will seat attendees in accordance to social distancing.
- Offering baskets will not be passed during the crusade, nor will hymn books be used during our song services to eliminate any chance of cross-contamination.
- As well, there will be no “welcome” or “handshaking” time in any service’s schedule of events.
Our crusade team, as well as our partnering churches, can confidently assure each and every attendee that we have taken every possible step to help them remain as safe and healthy as possible.
The Hope for America Crusade team, the partnering churches, and their pastors fully believe in freedom and encourage personal responsibility. If a person feels they are at risk, we welcome them to take every precaution for themselves at the crusade. They should even feel free to ask their usher to seat them farther away from others, if so inclined. They can even choose to watch the crusade online from the safety of their home. As we inform attendees of the CDC suggestions to wear a mask and to social distance, it is the responsibility and choice of each person to do so.
We ask that any person who experiences any symptoms please not attend the crusade.