Some faith leaders hesitant to rush into governor's new guidelines

MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- Governor Jay Inslee announced Wednesday that he is loosening restrictions on religious organizations during the stay home order, but some faith-based leaders say they will not rush to make changes.

Effective immediately, faith-based groups can hold services in-person as long as they maintain certain guidelines.

Some faith leaders say making changes to address the different phased restrictions may be more trouble than it’s worth.

“We’d rather be cautious and right, than fast and do something that could cause harm or confusion,” said Christopher Rich.

Rich is the pastor of Damascus Road Church in Marysville.

During the stay home order, he has been broadcasting his sermon and service over the internet.

He says to come up with a safe plan to address in-person services under Phase 1, then come up with a new plan for when Phase 2 goes into effect possibly in just a few weeks, would be a lot of work.

His says he will wait to re-open his doors and just start preparing for when Snohomish County enters Phase 2.

Other faith leaders have similar feelings.

“My greatest concern is just not going back too soon,” said Eric Jackson.

Jackson is the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Tacoma.

He says there needs to be a lot of planning on how to keep his congregation safe before he feels comfortable opening his doors again.

“We’re going to do what is necessary to take care of our people, and if that means a prolonged absence to our regular way of worship that is what it’s going to be,” he said.

He says at the earliest, his church would not be ready to welcome back the congregation for a few weeks.