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Nine local pastors push for churches in Illinois to reopen for services

A coalition of nine Illinois pastors wrote an open letter to Governor J.B. Pritzker requesting churches be allowed to reopen.

MOLINE, Ill. — On Wednesday May 20, a coalition of nine Quad City pastors met at Calvary Church in Moline to read an open letter to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.

"We have decided that there comes a time when we need to reopen our doors," said Pastor Tim Bowman of Calvary Church of the Quad Cities.

Pastor Bowman said the letter requests that the Governor allow churches to reopen for services. 

"We do feel that we need to honor our governor," said Bowman. "But when it reaches a point to where we’re not honoring God... that’s where it’s difficult for us to say where does human authority and god’s authority come into play here?"

"As we look at the five phase plan, the last one is opening churches," said Pastor Brian Swartout of New Life Fellowship. "Even after schools."

Pastor Swartout said not being able to meet in-person with his congregation is a concern.

"Through live stream it’s very hard to get a pulse of your people on how they’re doing emotionally," said Pastor Swartout. "We need fellowship. We need each other."

Pastor Bowman said he will reopen his ministry on May 31st with or without the Governor Pritzker's clearance.

"It’s really not a heart to disobey our country. That’s not what we really desire to do," Pastor Bowman said.

Capacity at Calvary Church will be reduced to less than 40% and seats will be disinfected between each service. Pastor Bowman said parishioners will be asked to wear a mask during service but he will not insist on it.