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When It’s Flu Season and We’re All
Together at Church…
It’s flu season. Add to this is a widespread
concern about CoVid-19 (the Coronavirus). This
impacts our congregation in lots of ways.
Do we avoid shaking hands or offering an
embrace when we see each other? Do we stop the passing of the peace in worship? Do we shy away from Communion, regardless of how it is offered?
It’s important that as Christians, and as a church, we look for appropriate ways to respond thoughtfully.
Here are some general guidelines:
· Let’s go back to the basics and remember the importance of good hand hygiene, which helps prevent the spread of not only CoVid-19, but also colds and flu.
· Members, ministers, ushers, greeters - wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose and eyes, with unwashed hands.
· Sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow or a tissue, not your hand. Wash immediately.
· Hand sanitizer is available at the Hospitality Room, the Narthex, and other entry points and places where we tend to gather. Please use this as you enter and leave our building.
What else can we do?
· Focus on prayer. Believing that God is in control, we can pray for the end of the disease. We can pray for the victims and their families - around the world and in our country. We can pray for the medical community as they strive to work together to offer accurate information and support.
· Revisit our emphasis on contact in worship. We want to continue to provide a warm and welcoming place while being conscientious. Let’s encourage a fist bump or elbow touch during flu season, which can be a meaningful way to “connect.” Or, a smile and a bow or head nod is a way to acknowledge other people. Such a change is out of our concern and affection for one another, not fear.
· Be faithful and consistent. If you have any symptoms at all, be safe and limit your exposure to other people. We will worship each week and our financial needs continue even during flu season. I encourage you to be faithful in your participation and your giving.
· Look beyond blaming. We are talking about an illness, a disease. It is affecting people from all walks of life. Regardless of where CoVid-19 may have originated, people are sick. Which is all the more reason to claim the power of prayer.
· Communicate any changes in our regular plans. If health concerns increase in our area, our leadership will make prayer decisions about our weekly ministries. If any changes are necessary, these will be communicated through our One Call Now system and our E-blast. We will also use online means such as our website and Facebook page to supplement any regular ministries that are cancelled.
What about the Lord’s Supper?
Our staff and deacons will give careful thought to one of our most meaningful experiences as Christians. While we are hesitant to not offer communion as a part of worship, we will consider this if concerns continue. These health concerns also provide us with the opportunity to think of creative ways to “re-create” the sharing of the Bread and the Cup.
Grace and peace,