Beloved of St. John’s:
Many of you have read that New Mexico has issued a new public health order which allows houses of worship to operate at 100% capacity. According to the order, all houses of worship can operate at full capacity if they wish regardless of the color-coded risk level their county is in. This update comes as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states cannot enforce capacity limits on churches that are more restrictive than other entities, like factories or schools.
Still, the state is “strongly encouraging” these houses of worship to have capacity limits. The Leadership Team has carefully considered the implications of opening 100% and have decided that while we are moving toward eventual reopening at 100%, we are still cautious. In that light, the Church has decided to continue to operate within the capacity limits established by the State under the color-coded opening schedule. Many other churches are following the same caution. We will continue to adhere to capacity limits, practice social distancing, wear masks, encourage hand sanitization, and will continue to obtain names and contact information for contact tracing for the time being.
We look forward to the time when the worries over contagion stop and we can resume activities at a 100% level. Safety is our utmost concern – for our congregants and our staff. We want to thank you for your patience, understanding and support during this unique time in our church’s life. Both the Abide service at 9:30 and the Traditional Service at 11:00 are open for in-person worship. Please use the links in the e-Discipline to register or call Debbie at the office 505-883-9717. At this time, neither service has reached the number of congregants set by the Leadership Committee. We hope to see you all very soon.
In God’s Love,
Pastor Pam and the SJUMC Leadership Team