First Presidency statement – Our continued Response to COVID-19 Virus Pandemic

The First Presidency has continued to monitor recommendations from professional health organizations about preventing the spread of COVID-19. Many nations continue to recommend the suspension of group gatherings. Based on our review, the First Presidency is advising congregations and mission centers to continue suspending church gatherings–worship services, meals, conferences, funerals, and other group activities–through at least May 31, 2020.

We also strongly recommend that mission centers that sponsor camps, reunions, and vacation Bible schools during June should cancel those group activities. This includes not renting church-owned facilities to other groups unless the activity fills a critical social-service need. These group activities have a higher risk to participants due to factors such as extended time of being together, sharing common spaces like restrooms, lodging, and dining, and frequent group activities. The Presidency will continue to monitor the recommendations from professional health organizations and announce our recommendations later in May about camps, reunions, etc. in July and August.

We also strongly recommend that mission centers that sponsor camps, reunions, and vacation Bible schools during June should cancel those group activities. This includes not renting church-owned facilities to other groups unless the activity fills a critical social-service need. These group activities have a higher risk to participants due to factors such as extended time of being together, sharing common spaces like restrooms, lodging, and dining, and frequent group activities. The Presidency will continue to monitor the recommendations from professional health organizations and announce our recommendations later in May about camps, reunions, etc. in July and August.

Recognizing our need to suspend group gatherings during this pandemic eventually will end, the Presidency will be developing guidelines to help congregations and mission centers return to in-person group gatherings.

All World Church sites will remain closed to the public, and World Church-sponsored events will be canceled through at least Tuesday, 30 June 2020. This includes the Temple Complex, Peace Pavilion, and all historic sites. International
Headquarters staff will continue to comply with the stay-at-home order by the mayor of Independence, Missouri, into May. We have notified International Headquarters staff members that they will work remotely from home through at least May 31, 2020.

The church’s updates on COVID-19 can be found at www.CofChrist.org/covid-19.

The Presidency is deeply grateful for how the church, in its local context, has responded during this pandemic. We have experienced the hard work, creative leadership, and ministry provided by mission center officers, pastors, and so many
others. The quality of ministry being provided has been a blessing. Thank you to all for responding faithfully and allowing the church to grow in new understandings during this challenging time. We continue to hold the church in our prayers.

The First Presidency