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Church of Jesus Christ to resume Sunday services

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Samoa will return to their usual Sunday gatherings his week.

It comes after the church's First Presidency gave approval for a phased return to weekly worship services.

Church services and activities by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Samoa were temporarily suspended following the declaration of a state of emergency (S.O.E.) in late March to mitigate risks associated with the coronavirus (Covid-19).

In May the First Presidency released a letter announcing the authorisation of meetings and activities to resume on a limited basis using a careful, phased approach.

According to the guidelines, meetings and activities may resume using a phased approach "when local government regulations allow and Area Presidencies inform local leaders." 

Once granted permission, they are advised to proceed in a cautious, carefully planned and coordinated manner based on local government regulations.

Area Presidencies (with the approval of the Quorum of the Twelve and the Presidency of the Seventy) will inform stake and ward leaders when to function using Phase 1 or Phase 2 and the time they will return to standard practices. 

Sabbath Day Worship Services at phase 1 will have shortened meetings at the meetinghouse with up to 99 individuals, following local regulations while phase 2 will have meetings at the meetinghouse with 100 or more individuals, following local government regulations. 

The return of the church to their Sunday worship at the chapel was confirmed by, Price Sa'u, the church's National Communication Director for Samoa.

"Only 99 people will be allowed to attend the service. The reason why only 99 people are allowed to attend the service is to maintain the 2-meter distance," Mr. Sa'u said in a phone interview with Samoa Observer.

He further explained that due to the 99 people limitation, other members of the church will be allowed to continue their worship from home, similar to the past months.

Mr. Sa'u stated that the time period for phase 1 is unsure and it depends on the COVID-19 situation and it will also depend on the leaders of the church for any new changes.

He explained that besides the Sunday services, meetings have now been allowed to resume however other various church activities are still on hold due to the current situation.

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