Statement of Churches in the Greater Houston Area Concerning the Pace of Resuming In-Person Worship

Date Posted: 4/28/2020

The pastors and leaders of the undersigned churches and Christian groups continue to pray for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are lifting up all those who are grieving, those who are sick, the front-line first responders, healthcare workers and others who are putting themselves at risk for the welfare of our communities.
 
Our congregations and organizations are working hard to find creative ways of ministering to our people and serving our communities.We are mobilizing our people to make masks to share with those who need them. We continue to reach out to our neighbors to meet their physical needs.
 
We appreciate Governor Abbott’s recognition of religious liberty, and that churches provide “essential services.” We also agree with our governmental leaders that the resumption of in-person gatherings for worship,study and fellowship needs to be intentionally slow and deliberately guided by medical expertise so that we do no harm as Christian communities.
 
We believe that in-person gatherings for worship that are larger than 50 persons should not take
place in April or May. We will not have in-person worship but will continue offering
worship online. In making this decision, we have the unanimous support of the leaders of the Texas Medical Center who strongly recommend these actions for all the faith communities of Greater Houston. We can see clearly at this time that resumption of larger group gatherings should
not happen in the next six weeks. Deciding when to resume in-person worship for larger gatherings should be evaluated as new information about the rate of new cases and the availability of testing is available.
 
As pastors and leaders we have all expressed a need for better insight and more guidance as we determine next steps. Over the next few weeks we intend to share information and best practices with one another so that we can be faithful to our calling in Christ, guided by expert medical counsel and respectful to our government officials.

Denominational Organizations
Bishop Andy Doyle, Episcopal Diocese of Texas
Rev. Josh Ellis, PhD, Executive Director, Union Baptist Association
Rev. Lynn R. Hargrove, General Presbyter + Stated Clerk for Administrative Process, Presbytery of New Covenant, PC(USA)
Bishop Scott J. Jones, Texas Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church
 
Congregations
A Labor of Love Christian Fellowship Church
Agape Community Bible Church
All Saints’ Episcopal Church – Hitchcock
Ascension Episcopal Church - Houston
Ashford UMC
Atascocita Presbyterian Church
Baptist Temple Church in the Heights
Bayou City Fellowship
Bear Creek UMC Houston 
Bering Memorial United Methodist Church
Bethany Baptist Church
Boynton Chapel United Methodist Church
Celebration Church of The Woodlands
Chapelwood United Methodist Church 
Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral - Houston
Christ Church, UMC - Sugar Land
Christ Episcopal Church - Eagle Lake
Christ Episcopal Church - Matagorda
Christ the King Episcopal Church - Alief
Church Project in The Woodlands
Cistern Church
City Church
Cypress Trails United Methodist Church
Deer Park United Methodist Church
Ecclesia Houston
El Mesias United Methodist Church
Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church
Emmanuel Episcopal Church - Houston
Faith United Methodist Church - Richmond
Faith United Methodist Church - Spring
Faithbridge Church
First Metropolitan Church
First United Methodist Church of la Porte
Free Indeed Church International
Gateway Community Church of Houston
Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church - Friendswood
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church - Kingwood
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church - Tomball
Good Shepherd Episcopal Indian Church - Stafford
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church - Cypress
Grace Episcopal Church – Alvin
Grace Episcopal Church - Galveston
Grace Fellowship United Methodist Church - Katy
Grace Presbyterian Church 
Harvest Point Fellowship
Higher Expectations Church
Holy Apostles Episcopal Church - Katy
Holy Comforter Episcopal Church - Spring
Holy Spirit Episcopal Church - Houston
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church - Dickinson
Hope Community United Methodist of Pasadena
Hope Episcopal Church - Houston
Houston Mennonite Church
Houston Northwest Church
Humble First United Methodist Church
Iglesia Bautista Vida Nueva De Katy
Iglesia Episcopal San Pedro - Pasadena
Iglesia Episcopal San Romero - Houston
Iglesia Episcopal Santa María Virgen - Houston
Jacinto City United Methodist Church
John Wesley UMC
Jones Memorial United Methodist Church
Kingwood United Methodist Church
Klein United Methodist Church
Lake Houston United Methodist Church
Lakewood United Methodist Church
Lord of the Streets Episcopal Mission - Houston
Memorial Drive United Methodist Church
Mission Bend UMC
Name of Church
Neartown Church
Northside Episcopal Church
Northwoods Presbyterian Church
Nueva Creación United Methodist Church
Orchard UMC, Orchard, Texas 
Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church - Houston
Pleasant Hill Baptist
River Pointe Church
Riverside United Methodist Church
Rose Hill United Methodist Church
San Marcos UMC
Shaw Tabernacle United Methodist Church
Sloan United Methodist Church
South Main Baptist Church- Houston
South Main Baptist Church- Pasadena
Spring Woods United Methodist Church
St. Alban's Episcopal Church - Houston
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church - Pearland
St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church - The Heights, Houston
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church - Galveston
St. Catherine of Sienna Episcopal Church - Missouri City
St. Christopher's Episcopal Church - Houston
St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church - Houston
St. Francis' Episcopal Church - Houston
St. George's Episcopal Church - Texas City
St. Isidore Episcopal Church - Spring
St. James' Episcopal Church - Houston
St. James the Apostle Episcopal Church - Conroe
St. John the Divine Episcopal Church - Houston
St. John’s Episcopal Church – Laporte
St. Luke the Evangelist Episcopal Church - Houston
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church 
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church - Houston
St. Mark’s United Methodist Church (Patterson)
St. Mark's Episcopal Church - Houston
St. Mark's Episcopal Church - Richmond
St. Martin’s Episcopal Church - Houston
St. Mary's Episcopal Church - Cypress
St. Matthew's UMC
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church – Houston
St. Paul's / San Pablo Episcopal Church - Houston
St. Paul's Episcopal Church - Katy
St. Philip the Evangelist Episcopal Church - Houston
St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church - Houston
St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church – Nassau Bay
St. Timothy's Episcopal Church - Lake Jackson
Strawbridge United Methodist Church – Kingwood
Sugar Grove Church of Christ
Sugar Land Baptist Church
Tabernacle of Praise ( The TOP )
Tallowood Baptist Church
Terrace United Methodist Church
The Church Without Walls
The Foundry United Methodist Church - Houston
The Harvest United Methodist Church
The MET Church
The Vineyard Church of Houston
The Woodlands United Methodist Church
Trinity Episcopal Church – Baytown
Trinity Episcopal Church - Galveston
Trinity Episcopal Church – Houston
Trinity Episcopal Church – The Woodlands
Truevine Missionary Baptist Church
U.M. ARMY
University Baptist Church
Webster Presbyterian Church
West University United Methodist Church
Westbury Baptist Church
Westbury United Methodist Church
Westminster United Methodist Church
Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church
Wilcrest Baptist Church
Willow Meadows Baptist Church
WoodsEdge Community Church

Sign the statement at: https://www.txcumc.org/inpersonworshipform