First and foremost, I hope this note finds you well and healthy.
As schools and other institutions adapt to help lessen the impact and minimize the spread of COVID-19 (also called coronavirus), we wanted to share the following information about tomorrow’s worship gathering and our steps forward.
First, we are cancelling Sunday School for tomorrow in the interests of the health of our children, their families, and our church community.
We are also requesting that anyone with any of the following situations stay home tomorrow out of an abundance of caution:
Cold or flu symptoms
Compromised or weak immune systems
any other recent or current sickness/symptoms
We ask this in the interest of the health of our congregation and the wider community, and in accordance with best practices from various agencies and organizations, including the United Church of Christ.
Until further notice, we will discontinue our practice of “passing the peace,” during our worship service. During tomorrow’s service, we will have a discussion about the pandemic and what our further response, if needed, should be.
At this time, we are also suspending pastoral visitations to hospitals, nursing homes, and to members and friends who might be particularly susceptible to infection based on age or other factors. With that said, if there are end-of-life situations, exceptions will be made. In lieu of pastoral visitation, I will be reaching out to folks via phone call, and I also ask that you encourage one another (and especially remember our shut-ins) via phone calls as well.
We are taking all of these steps in an effort to do our part to slow the spread of this virus and for the health and welfare of our church family and of the larger communities of which we’re all a part.
Updates will be sent via email and posted on our church Facebook page.
Please remember in your prayers the medical personnel and emergency responders who are working diligently to prevent the spread of the virus, as well as those who have been infected.
A very practical matter: If you are not able to come to church tomorrow for any of the above reasons and are still able to contribute to the church’s operations and ministries, please consider mailing your offering to the church office this week. If it becomes clear that we’ll have to cancel future services, we’ll also set up an online giving option so that we can meet our financial obligations even if we’re not gathering together.
Please remember each other in prayer. Please follow all the best practices that are being shared by the experts, even if you are at low risk yourself. Please know that together, we will get through this trying time. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns, with prayer needs, or with new updates on your own health or the needs of those you love and care for. Please keep in touch with one another, encourage one another, and continue to hold one another dear, even as God holds us.