I am sure you, like me, have been bombarded with Coronavirus news and it has created one of two realities in your heart and mind.
Some of us are dismissive. Normally I would fall into this camp. The self-talk falls along these lines: “This whole Coronavirus thing is way over-hyped and ridiculous. I am tired of hearing about it, and besides it’s just the latest in a long line of scares that are way overblown. (Think Y2K, SARS, MRSA, TIKKA, Ebola, Swine Flu, etc., etc.)
Some of us are in panic mode. Folks in this camp believe almost everything they see posted online, are seized with worry and anxiety as they obsess over a black plague type sicenario and spend their days surfing the web for where they can purchase a year supply of hand sanitizer and N95 masks.
We want prudence, not panic. Our goal as we face Coronavirus as a church family is the same discipline we use when we face theological viruses. We want to stay on the “road” and avoid the left and right “ditches.” In Christ-like love, we want to take sensible precautions for the sake of the most vulnerable in our midst, especially keeping in mind those who are elderly and those who have compromised immune systems
We were prepared in advance. Mark Scott, our building and grounds manager has been taking steps to minimize germ transmission before Coronavirus was widely known. At the start of flu season, Mark and our cleaning staff began wiping down door knobs, water fountains, counter tops, and any other areas that are high traffic.
Reasonable Steps. While we cannot protect ourselves from all germs, there are some things we can do in this season of influenza/virus that are both wise and loving to our neighbors:
- Please do not come to church if you are sick
- Wash, wash wash your hands with soap and hot water before and after meals and before and after coming to church.
- Do not put your fingers in the intinction chalice or in your mouth
- Do a “Rwandan elbow bump” or closed fist bump rather than shaking hands
- If you are elderly or have a weak immune system, consider only having bread during communion until flu/ virus season is over.
Since our communion rails are touched by hundreds of hands each Sunday, we will revert to stand up communion until at least Easter and until we are notified by the CDC that flu and virus season are over
Most importantly, PRAY and ask our Heavenly Father to intervene and to let His church model Shalom in the midst of this storm.
Bottom line: because of our love for our neighbors and because God has given us wisdom, we will take all reasonable steps to avoid spread of viruses, but we will not give way to panic and fear. We will trust in the Father’s care for us..
In Jesus’ peace,