The gathering took place outside New Covenant Baptist Church in Canandaigua, with attendees maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.
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Ecumenical pastors from Wayne, Seneca, and Ontario counties met Sunday in Canandaigua to discuss reopening churches. The event was held outside New Covenant Baptist Church at 4317 County Road 46.
Reid Robbins, principal of East Palmyra Christian School who informed media of the event, said between 20 and 30 pastors were involved with conveying a unified message.
The gathering took place outside the church, with attendees maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. Members of the media were asked to stay at least 10 feet away from the speakers who removed their mask in order to speak.
“In a time of bipartisan bickering and social media slandering we hope to help clarify our role in helping to keep the community safe,” Robbins stated in a release before the gathering at 2 p.m. “Understandably, our community is worried about the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic and also their spiritual and mental health.”
As churches begin to reopen following safe practices, many pastors also plan to continue online weekly services.
"We want to be back as a church, we want to be back as God's people," said Pastor Jay Riggleman of the Bible Baptist Church of Sodus in a report by Messenger Post news partner News 10 NBC. "But we also take safety and health very seriously and it may sound like a lot of work to do what we're doing, a lot of effort and I want you to know that it is and it will continue to be but is it necessary? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes."