We are hearing much in these days about the spread of the COVID-19 virus, also called the Coronavirus. With so many news sources at our fingertips, it can be overwhelming and disconcerting to read reports that range in tone and tenor. Given what the CDC has offered, and given what is currently known, our community of faith will move forward under the following guidelines for our life together:
- As always, anyone who feels sick or is exhibiting signs or symptoms of illness or fever is encouraged to remain at home to avoid the sharing of germs and illness. If you are someone whose health is more vulnerable, we hope that you will make the choice that is best for you in terms of your involvement.
- Throughout the building you will find hand sanitizer. There is hand soap at every sink. Please use them.
- We will also make every effort to wipe down all of the door handles every day. Our building hosts a variety of people and we are so delighted about that. In flu season or seasons of other health outbreaks, a bit of intention goes a long way to making sure we all remain healthy.
- At the sharing of the peace, you are welcome to place your hands over your heart as a gesture of peace in place of shaking hands. If someone refuses your hand, please don’t be offended!
- For Holy Communion, at the 9:00 service we will use intinction as normal. There are NO known cases of people becoming ill from the chalice. However, you need to do what makes sense for you and feels comfortable. Luther noted that communing in one kind (either bread only or wine only) is acceptable. Feel free to receive the bread and not the cup. Remember, those who distribute bread always wash our hands prior to the distribution. At the 11:00 service, we will be using individual cups.
If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
All other programming is planned to proceed as scheduled as of this posting. Should the situation change or escalate, we will let you know how plans have changed promptly. If we have to cancel church entirely, we will make sure that services are streamed live on FaceBook.
Thank you for helping us protect one another, especially those who are most vulnerable. Putting into practice these precautionary measures is an act of stewardship, as we seek to care for the safety of one another and our neighbors. Please keep in your prayers all affected by this virus, those working toward better safety and health practices, those working on prevention and those working for a cure.
Above all things, remember that we are a faithful people, trusting that God is here, and God is working in this world.
Peace to you,
Pastor Kathy, Pastor Gretchen, and the Our Redeemer’s Staff