Common Sense Still Reigns
Today's proclamation removes prohibitions for religious communities gathering groups of 10 or more everywhere--not just in the 77 counties listed. Meanwhile, the Governor is still encouraging at-risk persons to avoid gatherings of any size.
I served as a pastor in a rural congregation and a large suburban congregation. Good luck telling folks in the at-risk population to stay home...let alone that they can't sit in their usual spot. I feel for all the faith leaders who are feeling pressure now to gather for worship despite strong indications that it will be an opportunity for spreading the virus and would put the most vulnerable in their congregations at risk. The vast majority of faith communities did not suspend in-person worship because of the Governor's order. Instead, they acted out of concern for the life of their congregants and the public health of their communities.
One of my colleagues put it best today saying that he would only plan in-person gatherings that could be reasonably attended by his 96 year old member who lives in a senior living community. If they could not attend because it would not be safe, he would not be encouraging anyone else to gather, either.