The Methodist Church, Ghana, on Sunday officially re-opened its church premises for services after putting all necessary measures in place to safeguard congregants from contracting and spreading the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, the Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, performed his first officiating after the lifting of the ban on congregational worship at the St. John Methodist Church in Tantra Hill.
The Ghana News Agency observed that stickers were placed at various entrances of the church, directing congregants to wear their face masks before entering, wash their hands right after entry, get their temperature taken and have their palms sanitised before getting into the main auditorium.
Stickers were also placed on the pews, directing congregants on where exactly to sit.
Pews that used to sit four individuals took two, while those that took six seated three, with significant spacing between individuals.
The Ghana News Agency also observed that the profiles of the congregants, consisting of their names, residential addresses, contact numbers and temperature were recorded before being allowed entry.
Due to the 100-member per service directive from President Akufo-Addo, the church held three services from the 0700 to 0800 hours; 0900 to 1000 hours; and from the 1100 to 1200 hours. Each service had less than 100 worshippers.
The GNA also observed that lectern and microphones at the church were sanitised after every single use, while the children’s service was not conducted.
Rev. Dr Boafo, while commending them for strictly adhering to the COVID-19 protocols, encouraged other churches to emulate them.
He said it was important for all Christians to thank God for making it possible for the church to be able to congregate again, even though the citizenry were affected greatly psychologically, socially, religiously and physically.
He also commended the government for its efforts in the management of the COVID-19, saying, “Although the numbers of COVID-19 cases keep rising, we want to put on record the sterling leadership by the government in the management of the respiratory disease, with its consistent approach to control the spread and reduce its impact of the citizenry.”
The Presiding Bishop appealed to the public not to dispute the existence of the COVID-19, especially in the country, saying ‘it is real’, and advised them to comply with the safety protocols to stay safe and healthy.
Most. Rev. Boafo said although the Methodist Church had officially begun operations, some of the branches were yet to open as they had not put in place all the safety measures to fully protect their congregants.
He commended front line health workers for their support at the forefront of the COVID-19 fight.
The Right Rev. Professor Joseph M. Y. Edusa-Eyison, the Diocesan Bishop of the church, delivering a sermon on the theme, “Reward for Being Hospitable” as taken from Genesis 18: 1-15, called on Christians to show love and compassion to all including; strangers, especially in the COVID-19 period when times were challenging. GNA