Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus:

Having received numerous inquiries today as to what the Southern District is suggesting in the face of a growing threat of Coronavirus coming to your town and possibly congregation, I feel compelled to give you this brief outline.

1. Pray.
2. Do not panic.
3. Look for opportunities to serve your neighbor with the peace, grace, and mercy of Christ.
4. Don't panic.
5. Follow the mandates of your local, state, and federal health officials.
6. As the Southern District covers 3 and a half states, we cannot give you area specific instructions. Each congregation, school, and preschool needs to stay aware of the changing situation and respond appropriately.
7. Serve your neighbor with the peace, grace, and mercy of Christ being a calm influence in the midst of fear and uncertainty. We know whose we are, and we need not fear for Christ is with you always.

It is at times of great fear and uncertainty when the Christian church often shines the brightest and has great opportunity to share with others the reason for our sure and certain hope in Christ Jesus. Let us cast our fears on Him, because he cares for you, and share the care of Christ with others.

The Lord be with you. May our God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit keep you in His mercy, may the Lord bless you and keep you, may He cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, may He lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Go in peace, and serve the Lord. Thanks be to God!!!

Your Servant In Christ's Mission,
Rev. Eric Johnson
President, Southern District LCMS
"What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith." (Philippians 3:8-9)