Important message from our Pastor
Greetings EBC Family & Friends,
It is with prayerful consideration and with deep regret that we announce that we are postponing our Family Reunion Return to In-Person Worship Services initially scheduled for August 1, 2021. As your Pastor, I remain committed to prioritizing your safety relative to our return to in-person worship services. One of our core values at EBC is that we value people. Out of care, concern, and love for each of you, it is important that I always consider your well-being above many other considerations when making decisions that have significant health implications.
We have been excitedly anticipating our Family Reunion Return to In-Person Worship Services and working tirelessly to ensure that we are able to gather in a way that is both safe and responsible. When we were in the planning phase of our return to in-person services, the COVID-19 infection numbers were declining and moving in a favorable direction. As I mentioned from the outset of this endeavor, if the data surrounding COVID-19 shifted in a less desirous direction, I would have no problem making the decision to pivot and temporarily return exclusively to our Online Worship Experience. After consulting with several medical professionals within our community, CDC professionals, and church staff and ministry leaders, we have made the decision to postpone our in-person worship services.
There have been increasing cases of COVID-19 throughout the nation, and specifically in Georgia over the past few weeks and in the last 48 hours. In reviewing the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID Weekly Data Tracker, the Georgia Department of Public Health Tracker, and the Fulton County Epidemiology Report, we have noticed increased COVID cases within our very own community. We are seeing similar trends in the other metro counties where our Conyers and Douglasville campuses are located.
As we look at the statistics, the number of positive coronavirus infections has increased 200-fold in Fulton County over the past week. The positivity rate, which is the percent of all COVID-19 tests that return positive, has increased from 5.5% (on July 21st) to now 7.8% reported on July 30th. Health officials note a 50% increase in hospitalizations. Many of the new infections are due to the highly contagious delta variant that is now accounting for over 80% of all new cases. Officials warn that this delta variant spreads as easily as chickenpox, with those infected having higher viral loads and greater risk of transmission to others. See latest CDC guidance here.
It is out of an abundance of caution, that we are making a heart decision informed by science to postpone our Family Reunion In-Person Worship services. We will reassess the feasibility of gathering for our in-person worship services over the next thirty (30) days. We ask that you pray that God will govern our actions and decisions as we assess when it will be best for us to reconvene in-person. During this time, we will continue to gather and worship exclusively via our Online Worship Experience.
We look forward to you joining us tomorrow via our Online Worship Experience. In light of this recent experience God has laid a fresh word upon my heart entitled “When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned.” I promise you don’t want to miss this message!
Dr. Craig L. Oliver, Sr.