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COVID-19 and the Church

March 11, 2020

We’re getting new information about COVID-19 and the coronavirus almost daily. As you know, this is a virus that is spreading across our country – and our world. We’re learning more about it all the time, but there is still much to learn.

Because this is an infectious disease, we will need to adjust some of the ways we gather as a Christian community. These may change from week to week, but we would rather err on the side of caution. And we certainly want to be mindful of information we’re getting from the CDC, and state and local health departments.

A few things we’re focusing on now:

1) We encourage you not to panic, and to use an extra dose of common sense when responding to news reports.

2) We will continue to hold worship services. This will continue unless and until local health officials were to recommend otherwise.

3) While we appreciate people coming to worship, we would ask you to stay home if you’ve had any of the symptoms associated with a cold or the flu or the coronavirus. This advice also applies to any who have a compromised immune system.

4) We will not shake hands or pass the peace at worship (at least in a way that involves touch).

5) Consider livestreaming worship on those Sundays you stay home (as of now, we don’t livestream Wednesday worship). You can always listen on the radio too (KOLM 1520 AM), but that hasn’t been dependable lately.

6) We will continue to have meals connected with Lenten worship, though we’re monitoring the situation closely.

7) We will serve communion using wafers and not bread. We will distribute the wine/grape juice with individual glasses. The servers will be healthy, with hands washed, and will wear gloves as they serve.

8) We will not serve communion by intinction. There is too much potential for germs to be transmitted.

9) If people feel uncertain about coming forward for communion, we will offer the option of coming forward for a blessing.

10) Be aware that our custodial staff and volunteers are doing double duty to sanitize our building and wipe down surfaces. Help them out by washing your hands with soap and water and using hand sanitizers located throughout the building.

11) Thanks in advance for your understanding—and flexibility. This is a moving target. We expect to update this information weekly.

Click here to see Sunday’s ZED Talk addressing the Coronavirus.

Pastor Vern Christopherson March 11, 2020