Dear Stake Members,
The First Presidency and Utah Area leaders have asked our stake to determine when and how we can return to full activity (read more here). Following discussions with our bishops and other stake leaders, although there are many things to consider, we feel good about moving forward.
For health-related matters, we encourage church members to listen to and follow the guidance of state and local public health officials. Protective masks will no longer be requested in stake and ward meetings. Members may choose to continue wearing masks as a precaution. For the time being, masks will still be required in temples. As always, please stay home if you are feeling sick, follow proper hygiene practices, and compassionately consider the needs and concerns of others.
Church members should strive to keep each sabbath day holy, attend church meetings, and worthily partake of the sacrament. Wards will continue to provide broadcasting for those who are unable or uncomfortable attending meetings in person. The bishop may continue to authorize worthy priesthood holders to administer the sacrament at home.
We love serving with you in South Weber.
To Stake Presidents From the Area Presidency:
We are grateful for the declining prevalence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant and reduction in hospitalization rates in Utah and surrounding states. Throughout the past 24 months, our goal has been to return to full church activity as much and as early as possible while minimizing risk to individuals and communities. We appreciate your leadership in these unusual times.
According to the February 18 notice from the First Presidency, we now feel that is appropriate for local priesthood leaders to determine, consistent with current guidance from state and local public health officials, when it is no longer necessary to encourage facial masks in church meetings. Those who wish to continue to use facial masks are welcome to do so. We urge leaders to continue to provide broadcasting to those who are unable or uncomfortable attending meetings in person. Church units should return to full activity wherever possible, including second hour meetings.
From the First Presidency:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
We are grateful that the Lord has heard the prayers of so many and provided the direction that has allowed us to navigate the global COVID-19 pandemic which, in some areas of the world, continues. As governments begin to modify the requirements for travel, masks, and other protective measures, we offer the following direction.
We are now encouraging Area Presidencies, in consultation with stake presidencies, to determine on a local basis whether masks should be worn or other precautions should be observed in the various Church meetings and activities. In doing so, local leaders should consider the guidance of local health and government officials and local customs and conditions.
For the time being, masks will still be required in temples, where so many who attend are part of an elderly, more vulnerable population and where our desire is to keep temples open and to have as many as possible participate.
We thank you for your faithfulness in heeding the counsel provided by Church leaders and pray the Lord’s continued blessings upon you.
UPDATE 1/5/2022 – Staying Healthy at Church Meetings
Dear stake members,
With a high potential to spread harmful viruses, please be extra careful to stay healthy and help others stay healthy. We urge the continued use of face masks in sacrament and other church meetings, whenever social distancing is not possible. Virtual options will be available for those who are sick or are uncomfortable attending in person.
The latest statement from the Church’s First Presidency was issued on August 12th (see below). We trust in their prophetic advice.
South Weber Stake Presidency
UPDATE 8/12/2021 – The First Presidency Urges Latter-day Saints to Wear Face Masks When Needed and Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent the following message on Thursday, August 12, 2021, to Church members around the world:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
We find ourselves fighting a war against the ravages of COVID-19 and its variants, an unrelenting pandemic. We want to do all we can to limit the spread of these viruses. We know that protection from the diseases they cause can only be achieved by immunizing a very high percentage of the population.
To limit exposure to these viruses, we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective.
We can win this war if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders. Please know of our sincere love and great concern for all of God’s children.
The First Presidency
Russell M. Nelson
Dallin H. Oaks
Henry B. Eyring
UPDATE 2/26/21 – Most Current Guidelines
On Feb 3 our stake received instruction to return to the September 11 COVID-19 guidelines. With a few changes, the November 12, 2020 guidelines are now replaced with direction previously outlined in the September 11, 2020 letter from the First Presidency and the (Updated) Utah Area Supplement. Additional stake clarifications are shown in green.
- [The stake should] develop and implement a plan for returning to Church meetings and activities consistent with information provided herein, while exercising care to follow established safety protocols (e.g., appropriate social distancing, wearing of masks, sanitation of surfaces, limitations on the number of people attending Church meetings and activities).
- The limit for in-person sacrament meeting attendance is increased to 150 people. All who chose to attend should wear masks and maintain six feet of spacing between households.
- Continue to broadcast weekly sacrament meetings (minus sacrament administration).
- Those at home administer the sacrament following the broadcast.
- Continue to Zoom second hour meetings.
- No Sunday Primary meetings.
- Continue weekday youth gatherings, no large group activities.
- Basketball, pickleball and other sports are still not permitted in stake buildings.
- Family gatherings, reunions and dinners are still not permitted in stake buildings.
- The stake plan should limit the number of people attending Sunday worship services and continue to broadcast services for those who participate from home. Second hour classes should be held virtually, unless specific exceptions can be made safely, and activities for children and youth should be limited in size to maintain safety protocols. All activities should have a religious purpose.
- Youth – Large group activities with combined quorums and classes are discouraged. Please limit group sizes!
- Primary Children – Primary should not meet either virtually or in person on Sundays until further authorized to do so. They can meet either virtually or in person during a weekday IF all spacing, masking, and sanitization precautions are followed. Six feet of spacing between members of unrelated households still should be followed.
- Plans for funeral services, baptisms and wedding receptions should allow for these tender and sensitive gatherings to be conducted with appropriate limits as to the number of people invited and should follow safety protocols.
- Baptism – should be limited to 20 family members in our stake baptism room, the service may be streamed but not recorded.
- Funeral Services – contact the stake president, must be limited to 150 people, must maintain masking and other precautions, a streaming option is recommended, no food should be served in stake buildings.
- Weddings – must be limited to family and close friends, must maintain masking and other precautions, no food should be served in stake buildings.
- Wedding Receptions – These are still on hold for now.
- Technology is encouraged for stake and ward conferences and other leadership meetings; however, presidency, bishopric and council meetings may be conducted in person with safety protocols.
- Safety protocols should include both masking and distancing. Include a streaming option for any who may be uncomfortable with in person meetings.
UPDATE 2/12/21 – COVID-19 Guidelines for Primary
In consultation with the Primary General Presidency of the Church, we have become increasingly concerned about our children who have been unable to attend Primary for almost a year. We are truly thankful for the efforts of Primary leaders and parents who provide a home-centered gospel learning experience and other activities with the support of Church leaders and resources. Until we can return to in-person second-hour classes, including Primary classes and activities, we offer the following recommendations for Primary Leaders, parents, and children:
- Baptisms: Stake and Ward leaders should increase the focus on preparing children for baptism soon after their 8th birthday. Under the direction of a member of the bishopric, baptismal services will likely be limited to family and close friends, with a focus on the simplicity and purity of the ordinance. Others may view baptismal services remotely using technology.
- Home-centered Primary: Parents and family members should be encouraged to provide home-centered gospel learning activities with the support of Primary leaders. Church resources include: The Friend magazine; Come, Follow Me—for Primary; Children’s Songbook; and activity ideas from Children and Youth program. We ask leaders to pay close attention to children whose parents struggle with temporal and spiritual challenges. Leaders and parents with their children should watch the General Primary Presidency message at the following link: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media/video/2020-12-0010-create-primary-experiences-at-home
- Stay Connected: Primary leaders and teachers should remain connected with all Primary children by creatively utilizing available options—virtual contact, letters, text messages, home deliveries, and in-person visits where safety protocols can be maintained. Leaders should counsel together and ask what they can do, rather than what they cannot do in these circumstances.
- Current Options: We encourage stake and ward leaders to counsel together, under the direction of Stake Presidents and Bishops, and seek new options and times (including weekdays) to conduct virtual or in-person Primary classes, singing times, and activities where local conditions and health guidelines permit, while maintaining all appropriate safety protocols (e.g., masking, social distancing, etc.).
We express gratitude for your attentive care and dedicated service. As we continue to counsel with senior leaders of the Church and as conditions in the Utah Area improve, we will continue to support your efforts with additional modifications to these and other guidelines.
The Utah Area Presidency
UPDATE 2/8/21 – Youth and Primary
Given the limitations caused by Covid-19, Primary meetings will not be held during the second hour.
- Youth Gatherings. In addition to the Sunday worship services outlined above, we invite individual Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Young Women classes to plan activities in person and/or through technology. Large group activities with combined quorums and classes are discouraged. Physical gatherings of quorums and classes should be planned to ensure that social distancing and other safety measures are followed.
- Establishing a Meeting Plan. We ask stake presidents to counsel with their assigned Area Seventy and with bishops in developing a meeting plan consistent with these (updated) guidelines. This plan should include the timing and logistics for resuming Church meetings and activities and include steps to ensure the safety of participants and compliance with the First Presidency Guidelines, the additional items in this (Updated) Utah Area Supplement, and state and local governmental regulations.
- Additional Safety Precautions. In consideration of governmental guidelines relative to COVID–19 and those issued by the Church, we continue to emphasize the importance of maintaining all social distancing requirements, sanitary procedures, safety in administering the sacrament, the wearing of masks, and other approved practices when participating in Church meetings and activities.
- Primary. We may now consider allowing in person meetings with the primary children including activity days. These gatherings, if held, should be held on days other than Sunday, in an environment where all safety precautions can be followed, and after careful consultation and consideration of equal magnitude that was undertaken prior to our returning to weekly worship services.
Size of groups gathered in person should be carefully planned to comply with all current health restrictions and using the knowledge and experience we have gained by doing so with our other meetings. All planned activities should have a religious purpose to qualify for exemptions under current government and health department guidelines.
UPDATE 11/12/20 – Temporary Modifications
As you may know, Governor Gary Herbert recently issued an Executive Order (2020–74), effective November 9, 2020, which, among other things, mandates the wearing of face masks while within six feet (whether indoors or outside) of any individual from a separate household and precludes social gatherings of individuals from separate households. The Utah Department of Health followed with a similar Public Health Order (2020–22). These Orders have state-wide application and will remain in force at least until November 23, 2020, unless modified or extended beyond that date.
What is not well understood by many is that the Governor’s Executive Order, by its terms, does not apply to religious services. Additionally, it stipulates that social gatherings, as defined, do not include gatherings “for a primarily educational or religious purpose” and simply “encourages faith-based organizations to implement protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
In reviewing our approach to meetings and activities in Utah (see the First Presidency letter dated September 11, 2020 and the Updated Utah Area Supplement attached) and counseling with others, we understand that we are currently in compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order. We do, however, encourage leaders and members to be diligent in following existing safety guidelines and in using caution to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
With a desire to be responsive to the current concerns in Utah, we ask that you make the following temporary modifications to our previous guidelines while the Governor’s Executive Order is in place:
- As you know, we recently reduced the number of in-person participants in our Sunday worship services from 150 to 99 or less. In resident wards we have asked that second hour Sunday meetings be held virtually, however, we have permitted YSA wards in YSA stakes to gather in-person for elders quorum, Relief Society and Sunday School meetings. We now ask that these in-person second hour meetings in YSA wards be temporarily suspended and that all wards in Utah hold second hour meetings via technology.
- We have allowed small youth gatherings to be held in-person on days other than Sunday with the stipulation that they be limited to individual quorums and classes. To comply with the spirit of the Governor’s Executive Order we ask that these gatherings be limited to activities that have a religious purpose. Sporting activities and other non-religious social activities are temporarily suspended.
- We have noted some challenges in how personal safety standards are maintained in gatherings when feelings and emotions are tender. To be cautious, we now ask that in-person attendance at baptismal services, funerals, weddings and receptions be limited to immediate family members and those who officiate. All others should be invited to participate virtually. We ask local priesthood leaders to work with individuals and families to determine how best to address safety measures and to limit attendance at these important events.
- We also ask that stake and ward council meetings, coordination meetings, and other large leadership meetings be conducted using technology.
Most importantly, we ask local leaders to be vigilant in maintaining well-known safety measures (e.g., following social distancing requirements, wearing of masks, using hand sanitizer and other safety measures in preparing and administering the sacrament, cleaning buildings between meetings, etc.) and in avoiding informal congregating before and after meetings and activities.
We are grateful for your support and your desire to protect others, especially those who have medical conditions or are of an age which puts them most at risk.
UPDATE 11/1/20 – Reduced Meeting Size and Other Guidance
Yesterday, under the direction of Governor Herbert, the State of Utah issued a statewide emergency alert regarding the recent increase in Covid-19 cases. Most counties in Utah are now under a high risk level of transmission. In light of this alert, the Area Presidency has reviewed all current guidelines issued by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve and their most recent Utah Area Supplement. They have concluded that our current guidelines comply with all state and local guidelines. The number permitted to attend authorized religious gatherings and meetings is specifically excluded from the state guidelines.
The Area Presidency has counseled with our leaders to determine if any changes in our guidelines should be made. Effective Sunday, November 8, 2020, we ask you to reduce the number of in-person participants in Sunday worship services, stake conferences, and other large Church meetings from 150 to 99, or fewer. This is the maximum number of participants announced earlier this year by the First Presidency for areas that are in Phase I. Members who are not able to attend Sunday worship service in-person, as authorized by the bishop, should continue to administer the sacrament in their own homes following the Sunday worship services. Members desiring assistance with the sacrament at home should invite worthy priesthood holders in the ward, under the direction of the Bishop and Elders Quorum president, to administer the sacrament each week.
We also ask that you use wisdom in the number of people that gather in-person for other meetings and councils. Please strictly comply with current safety measures, including social distancing, wearing of masks, cleaning of rooms and surfaces between meetings, etc. We encourage you to continue using technology, where possible. We trust in your wise judgment as you apply these guidelines to your local circumstances.
We are grateful for your diligent efforts to minister to and provide for the safety of all members and request that you review your current plans and counsel together with your leadership councils to ensure that all safety measures are followed.
With personal regards,
UPDATE 9/23/20 – PRIMARY, ATHLETICS, FAMILY GATHERINGS
Thank you for your desire to follow counsel. As I have asked the questions of our Area Presidency, they are grateful for your thinking outside the box a bit as well moving the work forward, while maintaining a safe environment to do so.
- Primary: Some stakes are having discussions about how to involve the primary children in a program or other activities. One stake is asking about whether a modified primary program could be held, with either prerecorded portions, or streamed portions or even having the children come to the pulpit individually to recite their parts of such a program. This would be acceptable and falls within the authority of your [stake president’s] keys.
- Weddings/Funerals: These gatherings are authorized as long as limited to the current numbers and all precautions that should be taken. One concern is food. The greatest risk noted in recent studies of COVID is doubling the risk of transmitting the virus through dining or drinking. Eating and drinking requires removing one’s mask and usually sitting close to someone else and talking. Thus, if you authorize these gatherings, discussion about this increased risk should be undertaken and appropriate restrictions employed. Monitoring numbers of people in the building together would be prudent.
- Athletics: These have not been approved at this point in our buildings, due to increased risk of disease transmission.
- Family Gatherings/Reunions/Dinners: Not approved at this time. These are not religious gatherings and don’t fall within the approved use of the buildings currently.
UPDATE 9/11/20 – WEEKLY SACRAMENT MEETINGS
- Safely Engaging in Church Meetings and Activities
- Utah Area Supplement to First Presidency Guidelines
- Guidelines for Using Virtual Meeting Technologies
The Church and area presidency sent out notices this weekend about returning to weekly sacrament meetings. In our stake, we will start planning immediately and have our first weekly sacrament meetings on October 11th (after General Conference). Meeting start times will be mostly the same as those prior to the COVID shutdown (see below).
- Beginning October 11th, each ward will hold sacrament meeting weekly at the designated time (October 11th is fast Sunday)
- Bishops in a building should work together to make a plan for orderly departure of members, cleaning the chapel and touch points, and arrival of the next ward
- We still ask that masks be worn while in the buildings, that hand sanitizer be available for use and other COVID precautions be continued
- Since most wards in our stake will have more than 150 people attending, wards should alternate in-person attendance as necessary
- All but the sacrament portion of the meeting should be broadcast to members participating from their homes
- Each ward will need to make a schedule and plan for the second-hour meetings (using Zoom or other technology)
- The stake technology team will be providing guidelines and suggestions for broadcasting sacrament and other meetings
|Building||Sacrament Meeting Time||Ward|
|Mt View||8:30 AM||SW6|
|Mt View||10:00 AM||SW5|
|Mt View||11:30 AM||SW4|
|Stk Ctr||8:30 AM||MTV|
|Stk Ctr||10:00 AM||SW7|
|Stk Ctr||11:30 AM||SW3|
|SW Dr||8:30 AM||SW8|
|SW Dr||10:00 AM||PIO|
|SW Dr||11:30 AM||SW1|
|SW Dr||1:00 PM||SW9|
Note: Elder Murray indicated that athletics have not been approved at this point in our buildings, due to increased risk of disease transmission. Also, family Gatherings/Reunions/Dinners are not approved at this time. These are not religious gatherings and don’t fall within the approved use of the buildings currently.
UPDATE 8/16/20 – RETURNING TO CHURCH
Dear South Weber Stake Members,
After prayerful consideration, we are ready to return to a limited Sunday meeting schedule as directed below. Your bishop will provide additional information specific to your ward, including the assigned meeting time for your family. Since we don’t have an email address for every stake member, we encourage all leaders and ministering brothers and sisters to help spread the word about these new meeting plans.
Some may feel that our approach is overly cautious or restrictive, but most will realize that this is a small (and temporary) price to pay to help us get back to in-person meetings. Let’s all stay positive and supportive as we proceed forward together.
First, for logistical reasons we will switch meeting locations for the 7th and Pioneer wards – the 7th Ward will move to the Stake Center and the Pioneer Ward will move to the South Weber Drive building. For leaders and members in those two wards, please label any building keys you have and turn them in to your ward clerk – this coming week if possible. You’ll get new keys for the new building.
In August, a few wards will be invited to test out our plan in some special meetings. Then, beginning in September, each ward will meet once per month on a designated Sunday. Because church meetings right now are limited to 99 individuals, each ward will hold multiple smaller sacrament meetings on their assigned Sunday. Your bishopric will provide additional Information regarding meeting start times and other details. The following meeting schedule will continue until further notice:
2nd Sunday of the month
- Mountain View Building – 6th Ward
- Stake Center – Mountain View Ward
- Cedar Building – Cedar Bluff Ward
- South Weber Drive Building – 8th Ward
3rd Sunday of the month
- Mountain View Building – 5th Ward
- Stake Center – 7th Ward
- Cedar Building – Cedar Bench Ward
- South Weber Drive Building – Pioneer Ward and 9th Ward
4th Sunday of the month
- Mountain View Building – 4th Ward
- Stake Center – 3rd Ward
- Cedar Building – 2nd Ward
- South Weber Drive Building – 1st Ward
At-Home Sabbath Day Worship – Those whose health or age puts them at higher risk (refer to Utah Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines), and others who may choose not to gather in sacrament meetings at this time, are encouraged to continue their Sabbath Day worship at home. All members should continue worshiping at home on the Sundays their ward is not scheduled to meet. Bishops may continue to authorize worthy priesthood holders to prepare and administer the sacrament at home. If there are no worthy priesthood holders in the home, the bishop may authorize other worthy priesthood holders in the ward to prepare and administer the sacrament in the homes of members who request it.
Other Guidelines – Those who are sick or have had COVID-19 symptoms should not attend until symptom free for at least 14 days or as directed by healthcare professionals.
As a courtesy to others, those choosing to attend sacrament meeting should wear a face mask when in the building – including the foyers and chapel. Please don’t shake hands or touch others who are not in your household group. Wash hands frequently, use hand sanitizer and follow other recommended sanitary precautions. Inside the building and even in the parking lot, always maintain a six-foot radius between family groups. To keep things simple, please avoid using other areas of the building.
Wipes may be used to disinfect the pulpit (e.g., touchable surfaces and microphone) after each speaker. All common areas and touched surfaces (such as door handles, light switches, water fountains, restroom fixtures, pews, microphones, organ and/or piano and pulpit) will be cleaned and sanitized between meetings. In addition, care will be taken to clean and disinfect the sacrament trays between meetings.
Sacrament Meetings – Our in-person sacrament meetings will proceed as follows:
1. A 45-minute (maximum) sacrament meeting will be the only Sunday meeting scheduled in our buildings. All other meetings normally included in the Sunday block continue to be suspended.
2. We ask that you arrive in advance of your scheduled meeting time and allow ushers to help direct you to your seat, taking into consideration appropriate social distancing between families and individuals.
3. Available seating will be marked to ensure at least a 6-foot radius (side-to-side and front-to-back) is maintained between household groups. If possible, two rows will be left open between each occupied row in the chapel, with the first row left open. Individuals from the same household, including single adults who share the same home, may choose to sit together.
4. Hymn books and printed programs will not be provided in the chapels. If your bishopric chooses for your ward to sing the hymns (as opposed to simply listening to the music), we encourage you to download the Sacred Hymns app to your tablet or phone and bring your device with you to sacrament meeting.
5. Choir practices and choir numbers are discontinued until further notice.
6. The sacrament meeting program will include the following:
- Prelude music
- Welcome by the conducting member of the bishopric with some instructions.
- Opening hymn
- Ward/stake business (if any)
- Sacrament hymn
- Administration of the sacrament (using proper sanitary procedures)
- Short talk(s) (7-10 minutes) by one or two individuals
- Closing hymn
7. Following each sacrament meeting, ward leaders will ensure the building is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized in preparation for the next meeting.
We are grateful for your efforts to carefully follow the directions from our Church and government leaders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to gathering with you for Sabbath Day worship beginning in the next few weeks.
South Weber Stake Presidency
UPDATE – 5/30/20
In the “Guidelines for Safely Returning to Church Meetings and Activities” sent to us on May 19, 2020, we are directed to return to regular practices slowly. In a recent Stake Bishopric Meeting held on May 20, 2020, the bishops, their counselors, and the Stake Presidency met to discuss and counsel together how to best determine the specific timing for resuming ward and stake meetings and activities. The counsel and communication discussed was excellent and taken in to account of our plan to move forward. We are extremely grateful for the bishops and their counselors in being ready to move forward when the time is right.
We are a large stake with large wards that have large attendance at meetings. It may be difficult to meet the needs of all members but I feel that the best approach can be taken in a number of steps as noted:
Step 1: Wait to begin holding meetings during Phase 1 and begin when Phase 2 is approved by the Church. As a stake, we will wait and not hold meetings during the month of June as long as we are still in Phase 1.
Step 2: When July arrives, if the approval for meetings is still only Phase 1, we will review and discuss the possibility of resuming meetings in July under Phase 1.
Step 3: When Phase 2 is approved – we will resume meetings under the guidance and direction of Phase 2.
On Sundays when members are not participating at the meetinghouse, they can hold home worship services and, when authorized by the bishop, have the sacrament administered at home by a worthy priesthood holder.
An exception that we note, which is included in the Utah Area Supplement, states the following: “Youth Gatherings – in most instances, youth meetings and activities should still be held via technology; however, infrequent gatherings of quorums and classes could be considered if all social distancing and other government regulations are followed. We suggest that in-person youth gatherings be small at first (fewer than 20 people) as youth learn to apply social distancing standards in a church setting. The Utah Area Presidency will inform stake presidents when larger youth gatherings are approved.”
Ministering allows us all the opportunities to serve and friendship. There are many examples of blessings to those who are increasing their normal and natural way of ministering to their neighbors and friends. Thank you for your increased efforts to minister to those of your ward and neighborhoods.
We are most concerned about the health and safety of all who live in South Weber. We pray for all members and non members. Daily we ask the Lord to bless and strengthen all individuals and families. We thank you for your devotion and diligence during this time of COVID-19.
May you be blessed in the weeks to come as you continue to focus on home-centered, Church-supported gospel learning and living. We look forward to the day to gather again and worship together having learned much from this experience. We express our love to each and every one of you.
President David Lowry
South Weber Utah Stake
UPDATE – 5/23/20
- First Presidency Guidelines on Returning to Church
- Utah Area Guidelines on Returning to Church
- State of Utah Guidelines for Religious Services
As most of you are aware, the Church has recently released guidelines for safely returning to church meetings and activities using a phased approach. Within these church and area guidelines, each stake is given the leeway to determine when and how to proceed.
We are extremely excited to move forward and return to something more like “normal” worship services. However, because we have a large stake with large wards, our feeling is to stay the current course a little while longer. We will not be having Sunday worship services on May 24th or 31st and possibly beyond that.
Basketball, pickleball and other building use is still not authorized. Under the direction of the bishop, wards are authorized to conduct a few limited youth activities – if all social distancing and other government regulations are followed. These quorum or class groups should be fewer than 20 people.
We’ve been told for years to simplify and prioritize what’s “good, better and best” in our lives. While we’re not able to meet quite yet, let’s all enjoy our extra family time, cherish the home-centered gospel experience, serve our friends and neighbors, study the scriptures, spend time with family history, and get to know the full-time missionaries. These are a few things that matter most.
Thank you all for your dedicated service. We love and pray for each of you.
South Weber Stake Presidency
3/14/20 – COVID-19 GUIDANCE
- President Nelson’s Message of Hope During COVID-19 Outbreak
- Updates on How COVID-19 Is Impacting Saints Worldwide
- Update on How COVID-19 Is Impacting Missionary Service
Dear South Weber Utah Stake Members,
We’re blessed to have knowledge of the eternities and of a living Prophet and Apostles who help us navigate safely through challenging times while nations, governments, health, and medical professionals work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We urge all members to follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and other reputable sources. “Social Distancing” is a key tool in the fight against the spread of this disease and will protect the most vulnerable among us.
On March 12 the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued an official church announcement which says in part:
“Beginning immediately, all public gatherings of Church members are being temporarily suspended worldwide until further notice. This includes:
- Stake conferences, leadership conferences and other large gatherings.
- All public worship services, including sacrament meetings.
- Branch, ward and stake activities.
Where possible, leaders should conduct any essential leadership meetings via technology. Specific questions may be referred to local priesthood leaders. Further direction related to other matters will be provided.
Bishops should counsel with their stake president to determine how to make the sacrament available to members at least once a month.
We encourage members in their ministering efforts to care for one other. We should follow the Savior’s example to bless and lift others.”
The Stake Presidency has received direction from our Area Seventy Elder R. Pepper Murray which says:
- Sacrament: General Handbook section 18.9.1, “the bishop holds the priesthood keys for administering the sacrament in the ward. For those unable to partake of the sacrament due to confinement at home… the bishop may authorize priesthood holders to administer the sacrament to them.” The Quorum of the Twelve have suggested that, in this instance, we be liberal in our authorization, but such be given specifically (your bishop must give specific approval to administer the sacrament). This can be performed at least once a month, or at most once a week. This should not be a sacrament meeting at home, with hymns, talks etc.; but only to officiate in the ordinance of the sacrament. Those who don’t have a priesthood holder in the home should be given special attention and accommodations made. These opportunities should not be large group gatherings, but instead, a small group of individuals focused on allowing participation in this ordinance. Ministering brothers and sisters should be the focus of this effort.
- Sabbath day worship: Do not create a Church patterned sacrament meeting in the home, but encourage use of all the resources we have been given: scriptures, Come Follow Me, the Church website, Gospel Living app, etc.
Following the direction from the First Presidency, we have counseled with the Bishops this week. Bishops, through their keys, are authorized to direct authorized worthy Melchizedek and Aaronic priesthood holders to administer the sacrament. The First Presidency has directed that the frequency be at least once a month. Because the bishops hold the keys and have been authorized to direct the logistics, the frequency and times of sacrament administration will vary by ward and may not be consistent throughout the stake or with other stakes. Again, Bishops will direct the logistics within the individual wards.
For the foreseeable future, stake meetings have been canceled. Use technology to limit in person gatherings. Ward Council Meetings, Presidency Meetings, Mutual Activities should all be done utilizing technology. To minimize exposure to this virus, church buildings are not authorized to be used for ad hoc gatherings including basketball.
The ability to share information from Church leaders is important now and at other times. We ask that ward leaders and ministers encourage all members to keep their email and mobile phone information up-to-date in “Contact Settings” on the Church’s website. https://account.churchofjesuschrist.org/personalInformation
Information can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/ and https://coronavirus.utah.gov/ . Additionally, we ask that all stake members regularly check the Church website https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/?lang=eng and stake website https://southweberstake.org/ for updated information.
Our beloved Prophet has prepared the church for this time by providing a home-centered, church-supported initiative. We have Come Follow Me resources in our homes; we have a higher and holier way of ministering to each other. May we use this time of uncertainty to collectively and individually strengthen our faith and prepare for the very special upcoming General Conference.
We hope all members of the stake will exercise caution and courtesy. Please remember to treat others with kindness and respect during this time of increased caution. Heed the council of health and medical professionals. Follow the Savior’s example and the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
We love you and pray for your well-being and will share further information as we receive it.
South Weber Utah Stake Presidency
President David Lowry
President Joel K. Workman
President Jeffrey A. Niederhauser