April 2, 2020
Sabbath services—April 4, 11, 18 and 25
- Beginning April 4, we are encouraging every pastor who can to webcast to his congregations. He will inform members in his areas of time and connection details.
- As of April 2, 21 church areas are scheduled to be webcasting in the afternoon and 19 will be offering a morning webcast.
- Congregations that are hosting webcasts will have their information posted on cogwa.tv by Friday evening.
- We will also be webcasting a full Sabbath service (hymns, sermonette or split sermon, announcements, sermon) at 12 p.m. Central Daylight Time from headquarters on cogwa.tv and Roku.
- All local services will be held either before or after the webcast from headquarters, so there will be no scheduling conflict.
- Passover services should be live webcast, if possible, in each congregation and/or region by the local pastor, beginning shortly after sunset. The pastor will inform members in his areas of time and connection details.
- As a backup (in case there are problems with webcasting), each pastor will inform members how to download in advance a video of the Passover service and will also make sure everyone has written instructions for taking the Passover at home.
Feast of Unleavened Bread—April 9
- First holy day services from headquarters at 12 p.m. Central Daylight Time on cogwa.tv and Roku.
- In regions where, because of the time difference, it is not feasible to log on to the webcast from headquarters, pastors will plan how to provide local services and will notify members in those areas.
Feast of Unleavened Bread—April 15
- Last holy day services (one service only) from headquarters at 12 p.m. Central Daylight Time on cogwa.tv and Roku.
- If pastors desire to webcast a second service locally that is certainly permissible, as long as it does not conflict with the time of the headquarters service. We believe that under these unusual circumstances having one service is not inappropriate on the last holy day of Unleavened Bread.
Connecting to the headquarters webcast
You can access the webcast simply by going to cogwa.tv. No password is necessary. It will also be available on your Roku channel. We will also be providing simultaneous translations in Spanish and in French. These will also be available on cogwa.tv.
Sabbath services in May
The President just this week issued a stay-at-home order through the month of April, and we have certainly learned in the last few weeks that everything is quite unpredictable in this situation. But we will soon be making contingency plans for May and will be prepared for continuing as we are or making applicable changes. We will keep you informed.
Holy day offerings
For U.S. members: Instructions regarding the holy day offering are available here.
For members outside the U.S.: Each region is responsible for determining how to best collect the offering, and pastors will communicate that to the members.
Rights to privacy
The church’s longstanding policy is that pastors don’t share prayer requests about any member’s health situation unless the member who is ill gives specific permission and makes such a request. Federal law (HIPAA) also prohibits this for a number of people in various professions. We urge all members to be mindful of that guideline as well. Even though we are well-meaning, we should respect everyone’s right to privacy and their right to be the first to disclose their personal health information at the time and manner of their choosing. This is especially applicable during this time of uncertainty with COVID-19. If there is a situation where some confusion or uncertainty exists on the part of the member and/or pastor, the pastor is encouraged to contact Ministerial Services for advice.
The office is temporarily closed and employees are working from home, with the exception that we are allowed to have people on-site to prepare for and conduct video or teleconference services. We continue to monitor local regulations and will abide by the governmental directives to do our part in stopping the spread of the virus.