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Regional News Mon, 6 Jul 2020

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Churches in Sekondi-Takoradi reopen with strict adherence to protocols

Many Churches in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis (STMA) and the Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipality (EKMA) have resumed religious congregational services after putting in place adequate measures to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some churches visited by the Ghana News Agency demonstrated their readiness to save lives and comply with the guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Veronica buckets were placed at main entry points with liquid soaps and paper tissues for hand washing, while infographic materials depicting messages on COVID-19 were posted at vantage points of the premises to inform members on what to do.

Infrared thermometer and alcohol-based hand sanitizers were readily available for temperature checking and hand sanitizing respectively.

Churches with large congregation were having two services, while small congregational churches had one or two services to maintain the prescribed number of not more than hundred.

The GNA learnt that most of the churches were disinfected with certificates embossed on the buildings, COVID-19 teams and desks have been created, church hours did not exceed the stipulated one hour, no crowd dancing was entertained.

Some of the churches visited included; Church of Christ (Spiritual Movement), Bethel Methodist Church, Takoradi Central Assemblies of God Church, Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Cathedral Takoradi, House of Favour Chapel, Perez Chapel International and the Pentecost International Worship Centre (PIWC).

At the Pentecost International Worship Center (PIWC) in Effia, Veronica buckets with liquid soaps and tissue papers were placed at the entry points, while thermometer guns were used to check the temperature of congregants before entry.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers were fixed on the walls and chairs arranged to meet the social distancing protocol with a biometric registration for contact taking.

Reverend Daniel Okyei Boakye, Resident Pastor of the Church, speaking on the theme, "The Paradox of the Cross" said the Cross was noted for rejection, criminality, hatred, agony, Pain, disgrace and death.

He said nobody and no family hitherto would want to associate with the Cross, but through Christ's ascendance to the Cross, it was an icon of redemption.

Rev Boakye mentioned that "the Cross also changed our destination from hell to heaven and served as a bridge, leading us to heaven which hitherto we were disinfected lost to it".

According to him, "by nature, we were born to wrath but in Christ through the finished work on the Cross we have been brought home and accepted as children of the Father and heirs of the Father's Kingdom".

Source: GNA

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