Fernander: Churches in ‘wait and see’ mode

Fernander: Churches in ‘wait and see’ mode
Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) President Bishop Delton Fernander (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) President Bishop Delton Fernander said the church remains in a “wait a see” position as cases of the coronavirus surge in New Providence and Grand Bahama, prompting at least one church to discontinue in-person worship this week.

Fernander also appealed to the government to reopen the lines of communication, noting in absence of regular dialogue on the way forward churches such as Mount Tabour make their own decisions.

“So we have, like the nation, we’re getting the information from the briefings that is given to the nation and with the absence of communication, functions are made and churches and denominations will make decisions based on the information they believe to be valid or the information they are hearing,” he said.

“What we’re going to do next week is as a council, next week Tuesday, we will meet and talk about how do we map out; what indicators are we looking for; what things will be our approach when we see certain indicators, but we really need to keep those lines of communication open because if there’s something happening in a certain area of town, we know that we have populous of churches in that area, we want to give that information so that churches can be on high alert and maybe step up their plans.

“We cannot do it alone and the state cannot do it alone, and churches are here in the community and we’ve proven that we can be a good partner in the feeding programs and what we do. There just has to be some trust.”

On Sunday, Mount Tabor Church moved to immediately suspend in-person service gatherings amid a resurgence of cases of the virus over the past week.

The church said it had been monitoring the pandemic in The Bahamas and in the United States, and made the decision to suspend in-person services based on an “abundance of caution and care”, though it was not aware if any of its members had tested positive for the virus.

Yesterday, Fernander said when governments come and go there will continue to be churches and communities “looking out for the best welfare of its citizens”.

He said the church addresses thousands of Bahamians every Sunday and is prepared to assist the government as an effective partner.

“I think it is now time for us again to work hand in glove so we can as a nation fight this, and not as a government fight this because this is a national problem and not a government problem,” Fernander added.

Twenty-one new coronavirus cases were confirmed in The Bahamas yesterday.

Twenty of those new infections were in Grand Bahama.

There have been 45 new confirmed cases of the virus in the last 72 hours.

As of yesterday, there were 174 confirmed cases in The Bahamas — 101 in New Providence, 59 in Grand Bahama, 13 in Bimini and one in Cat Cay.