No dominoes at church!

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Pastor of the King’s Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mount Salem, Charles Brevitt, yesterday warned members of his congregation to “cease and desist” from playing dominoes on the compound, arguing that if the Government is not allowing it to be played in bars, then members must not play the game on church premises.

“There is one thing I want to say brethren, and it might sound unpleasant to note, but I am going to say it anyhow. You will know that the Government has decided to open bars, but in opening bars, the Government has put a regulation in place which is that no domino game should be played in the bar, outside of the bar, or on the premises where the bar is operated. The Government has put that regulation in place,” Pastor Brevitt told congregants at the start of yesterday’s service.

“So, I am serving notice on the King’s Church because I understand that up to Sunday gone, there was domino playing here. Is police I hear that from. While I can’t stop members of this church and their friends from playing dominoes, don’t play on the [church] compound,” Pastor Brevitt urged.

“Brethren, if the Government says persons in the rum bars must not play domino, why is it we feel that we must play domino here?” he asked.

“So, I am serving notice on my congregation that I am asking you to cease and desist from the domino playing. I am not saying that playing domino is wrong, but I am saying that the Government has put regulations in place so that we can keep our services, and we are not going to break those regulations.”

During a digital press conference at Jamaica House last Monday Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that the Government has decided to remove the limit on the number of worshippers allowed inside churches, but with strict protocols, for a 14-day trial, starting yesterday.

Holness also said that community bars will be allowed to open at 11:00 am, as of Tuesday, for a period of two weeks, also with strict protocols.

Under the new protocol for churches — which were previously required to have a maximum of 10 people in attendance, maintain the required social distancing, and required congregants to have hands sanitised before entry — they must now temperature check everyone entering the sanctuary, have a sanitisation station at the entrance, maintain social distancing of six feet, and have members of the congregation wear masks, among other measures.

Pastor Brivett urged the worshippers to observe the guidelines set out by the Government, which are aimed at curtailing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Over the next three Sabbaths, we are going to observe our social distancing, we are going to do our temperature checks at the door, sanitisation at the door, and during the service sanitation wipes will also be available,” he said.

He also told the congregation that there will be no afternoon service, as the church does not have “the facility to sanitise the place” after the first church service.

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