Posted on March 13, 2020 Posted By: FaithPres
Categories: General News
Rising concerns about the spread of Coronavirus in the United States have been everywhere this week. Last Sunday, we instituted some new measures intended to keep all who come healthy. They include:
· Wash your hands frequently – either soap and water or hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your face.
· Avoid hugs and handshakes. We are recommending the “peace sign” as a way to greet each other.
· Use a tissue to cover your cough or sneeze, then put into the baggie which will go in the trash.
· Stay home if you are sick, and don’t visit people who are sick.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
This week we are adding the following measures:
· Encouraging immunocompromised folks to stay home and self-isolate. We want you to avoid getting sick.
· Changes to the Offering: Our offering plates will be at the exits following worship for you to place your offerings, instead of being passed along the rows in the sanctuary.
· In-Person visits. We are reducing in person visits for those who are already sick. Our Deacons will move to phone call check-ins, and our Stephen Ministers will be meeting face-to-face only after checking with their care receivers. Pastor Renée will be mostly checking in by phone as well.
· Communion in Worship and at Home: The Session will be reviewing guidance on whether/how to have communion next week.
· Increased Care for the Vulnerable in our Midst: If you find yourself in need of additional care due to illness or risk during the next couple of weeks, please contact Pastor Renée. Some may find it difficult to get out to buy groceries or medications. Others may need some financial assistance as the impacts of this medical emergency impact our local economy.
· Providing Sunday reflections:Starting this Sunday, Pastor Renee will provide a copy of her sermon, reflections/poems, and prayers on the church website. Everyone will receive an email with a link.
· Sunday School: As of this writing we are planning on having Sunday school this Sunday, but it is subject to our teachers and nursery staff feeling as though they can do this safely. Erin Law is checking as we speak.
· Adhere to guidance from public health officials: If it gets to the point where the city prohibits large gatherings, we will comply with city and state recommendations and are working to plan alternative ways to engage in worship at home.
· Encourage our congregation to remain calm and be respectful: It’s important that facts and faith outweigh fear. Share that toilet paper!
· Consider gifts to local non-profits: For many workers, the biggest impact may be financial as jobs are reduced or eliminated. A financial gift to our local food banks can be a big help.
We will continue to monitor the situation here in Cochise County and will not hesitate to make changes in how we conduct our gatherings and worship as the need arises.
Let us be in prayer for those affected around the world, and for the vulnerable among us. We believe that even in the midst of global challenges like this, God is present among us.