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COVID-19 Update // November 2020

Read this latest update from our Pastors regarding recent governmental restrictions.

Dear CONVO Church family & friends,

In light of the Governor of Nevada's recent change in governmental restrictions on public and private life, including churches, we felt the need to release an updated statement laying out how we as a church will respond  what we will do, and what we will not do.
This update will be pretty straight forward. We continue to honor the ability of our church members to understand what is going on and act responsibly within their own context as much as possible. For those looking for more information to understand the mindset in which we are operating as a church, we’ve provided links to additional articles at the bottom of the page. 
Many are aware of the recent mandate handed down from the Governor about a 50 person limit on church gatherings. We will continue to open our doors to anyone who wants to come to church in need of community, connection, worship, and Bible teaching. We also ask our current CONVO family and friends to keep making the gathering of the church essential in your life and family. Some wonder how we can reconcile this action when the Bible tells us to obey governing officials in Romans 13. Allow us to tell you what we are doing and then we will share the proper biblical context for what is in question.
The issue of Romans 13 is understanding what is meant by our English word "obey". The proper word here is to "be subject to" or "honor". We are to respect the governing authorities and be subject to their leadership but not when we are told to dishonor God's mission or God's Word, or asked to do something illegal. (see attached link: "Jesus, not Caesar, is head of the Church").
While our primary authority is and will be Jesus Christ as head of the church and God's Word as the written authority of God, we still live in a nation whose highest authority is the Constitution of the United States. Our Constitution clearly states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech…" Any reach from state or federal jurisdiction into the church world that violates this statute is illegal.
This reality is not simply a matter of personal opinion, but as of this past week on November 25th, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Governor of New York (also reflecting on other states such as Nevada) is in violation of our Constitution by putting limitations on religious gatherings. In the opinions given by Justice Gorsuch, he states, "Who knew public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience...The only explanation for treating religious places differently seems to be a judgment that what happens there just isn’t as “essential” as what happens in secular spaces. Indeed, the Governor {including the Governor of Nevada} is remarkably frank about this: In his judgment laundry and liquor, travel and tools, are all “essential” while traditional religious exercises are not. That is exactly the kind of discrimination the First Amendment forbids."
While we honor our government leaders and pray for them, we first submit to Christ and His Word, and then as Americans (second), we are protected by our Constitution. We are not revolting. We are not rebellious in our nature. Our heart is for being obedient to our calling and mission as a church. This is not reckless or irresponsible. We continue to provide a safe environment so relationship, gatherings, ministry, and growth can still occur. But we are Essential and it proven every week that someone comes to CONVO, finds hope, finds healing, finds salvation, and community where Purpose is Inspired, Life is Encouraged, and Faith is Built.

What is our plan to protect people while they attend CONVO Church?
1.    Respect: we ask people to respect the reality others are walking in with regards to Covid, masks, and social distancing. Even before a global pandemic, the heart behind what we do at CONVO is for the ONE who is new and needs Jesus. Those who are already a part of CONVO will always defer to those who are new so obstacles and barriers can be removed for a new person to connect, build relationship, and ultimately become a faithful Jesus follower.
2.    Masks: we will provide masks for those in need of one.
3.    Sanitizing: we sanitize our environment each week to promote a safe atmosphere for CONVO Kids and our primary auditorium. Hand sanitizer is available around our facility.
4.    Distancing: we have plenty of space so that those in need of space can have the space they need and so families can also be together.
 
All these elements follow the basics of what you see in the places many still go and shop that are not being limited with restrictions: Home Depot, Raleys, Lowes, Walmart, Costco, etc...
Our church has excelled in being responsible when individuals have been directly exposed, tested, or even been found positive with Covid. We have seen our team members communicate, follow protocols for testing and quarantine, and then return to church when clear. This responsible method is what makes a difference. We have seen zero cases tracked to CONVO Church.
Some of the most devastating issues being overlooked by government officials and the media are the social, economic and psychological crises exploding in our communities while everything is focused on flattening the curve of Covid. Talking with pastors, leaders, doctors, and teachers around the country, we see the adverse long-term catastrophic effects of closed and limited churches, schools, hospitals, and businesses.
Children & Youth: abuse, neglect, suicide, sex trafficking, social media use, mental health, obesity, drug use, alcohol use, sexual activity, addiction...all these areas are exploding this year. The top places where kids and youth get help is church and school. With these areas taken away or extremely limited, they have nowhere to turn.
Adults: divorce, domestic violence, substance abuse, homelessness, suicide, addiction, illegal prostitution, mental health, and more...all exploding with the restrictions placed on society.
Because of these growing crises listed above, we MUST remain open in person. It's a greater mandate with generational and eternal consequences. 
For our church members, we need you also. New people keep coming. New people are getting saved every week! The eternal work of the Kingdom doesn't stop.
Online church is a great tool, but is not meant to be a replacement. Nationwide, for the churches who do online church exclusively, we are seeing an average of 60% of people completely disconnecting from their church community. Plus, the engagement they do have is less and less consistent. While some may argue that this season is short term, the impact of lost relationship, disconnection from church, and lack of personal discipleship will create greater divides that in many cases won't be recovered when this "season" is over. We are still working to re-establish our online presence, but we cannot do more with less team members.
Now that we have a permanent facility, we continue to pray for and seek out new ways to connect with people and meet spiritual and physical needs of our city. Yes, this will be a season. But God knew what He was saying at the beginning of this year when he told us "Forward Faith" as the vision focus for 2020. This is what we continue to do and we will be stronger for it when this season is over.
We love each and every one of you so much. We miss so many of you and can't wait for the moment when you feel you can return. Until then, we continue to look for ways to keep connection. For those who feel disconnected, lean in and come back. For those new to CONVO, we are so excited and full of faith for the future and are blessed to walk with you in life and relationship to reach our city.

Together For The Cause of Christ,

Pastors Craig & Cara Dyson

Links to outside articles