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  • Writer's pictureMesquite Nevada Stakes

New COVID 19 Changes

Dearest Brothers and Sisters, As we look forward returning to some degree of normalcy at church, we ask that you consider the following: The Area Presidency has directed that our worship services should be held every Sunday, and that the capacity “may” be increased to 150 members. These worship services will be followed by the administration of the sacrament in the chapel. Members may also administer the sacrament if participating from their homes. We are now asking that you begin to return to church if your health and COVID-19 concerns allow. In those wards where attendance could possibly exceed more than 150 people, we ask that you follow the direction of your bishop in staggering your in-person attendance. In addition, the Area Presidency has encouraged us to return to weekday activities for youth and primary children in areas where proper safety measures can be instituted and maintained. In an effort to avoid the risk of exposing ward members to COVID-19, and with a desire to not over schedule families on Sunday, all second hour meetings will continue in a virtual setting and not be held in meetinghouses. While we have been instructed to ensure we do not overburden families on Sunday with multiple face-to-face meetings (while the adults are still meeting virtually), weekday youth and primary activities, classes, or singing time are encouraged. Please remember President Boyd K. Packer’s stirring comment: "…when you schedule a youngster you schedule a family, particularly the mother.” Until we can return to in-person second-hour classes, including Primary classes and activities, we offer the following recommendations for Primary Leaders, parents, and children: Baptisms: We will focus on preparing children for baptism, and encourage them to participate in that ordinance soon after their 8th birthday. Funeral services, baptisms and wedding receptions: These tender and sensitive gatherings are allowed to be conducted with appropriate limits as to the number of people invited and should follow safety protocols. State guidelines maintain that “places of worship” may operate under strict social distancing requirements at no more than 50% occupancy based on applicable fire code. For those desiring to have a gathering that might exceed the 150 person limit, we ask that you visit with your bishop. Your bishop may council with the stake president and together we may be able to make use of the stake center, that allows for a higher occupancy. Also from the state: “As a reminder, the best tools we have to combat the spread of this virus remain the same: maintain safe social distancing, wear face coverings, and practice good hygiene. These new circumstances are especially important within our gathering places of worship and life-rites ceremonies.” Home-centered primary: Parents and family members are encouraged to continue to provide home-centered gospel learning activities with the support of primary leaders. Church resources include: The Friend magazine; Come, Follow Me—for Primary; The Children’s Songbook; and activity ideas from Children and Youth program. We ask leaders, teachers, ministering brothers and sisters, and parents to pay close attention to children whose parents struggle with temporal and spiritual challenges. We express our heartfelt gratitude for your efforts to follow these guidelines that are intended to keep us safe during the current pandemic. We also appreciate how you have prayerfully considered how these guidelines can be safely implemented. Your brother in the gospel, David J. Anderson

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