Oklahoma megachurch organizes mass Thanksgiving meal for congregation of thousands: 'Bring a neighbor'

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An Oklahoma church that boasts a congregation of at least 13,000 people has organized a mass Thanksgiving meal ahead of the holiday.

On Monday, Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt announced tightening restrictions on gatherings and mask-wearing in order to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

What are the details?

According to a Thursday Newsweek report, Victory Church in Tulsa shared the event on its Facebook page.

The event — titled “Friendsgiving” — will take place on Sunday, Nov. 22.

A portion of the post states, “[C]ome share a meal with us & BRING A NEIGHBOR.”

“We always looking forward to this meal with you,” the post added. “All of our campuses will be participating at their facility.”

What else?

The outlet notes that COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing across the state and that intensive care units are nearing capacity.

Oklahoma public health commissioner Carrie Blumert said that the announcement made her “so incredibly sad and angry.”

“Religion does not exempt you from following life saving guidelines,” Blumert said according to Newsweek.

According to its website, the church is also set to have a Thanksgiving Day brunch, which will take place on the holiday at the church’s cafeteria.

In April, Republican Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said, “Faith-based services that are provided through streaming or other technology have been declared essential by Governor Stitt’s Amended Executive Memorandum 2020-01 and may continue to hold services in that format. The City of Tulsa will not interfere with religious practices, but individuals should practice physical distancing to protect themselves and others.”

Newsweek reports that the church has encouraged its congregants to return for in-person worship services, but said it was asked to keep its auditorium capacity to just 40%.

“We will have precautions in place based on CDC guidelines and phase to help keep you safe and healthy,” the church said in a COVID update according to the outlet.

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