Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I have received numerous phone calls and a greater number of emails yesterday and today regarding the newest recommendation from the CDC regarding the spread of Coronavirus.

The situation is rapidly changing; there is much fear and anxiety in the general population and the Church. I will make recommendations for our congregations as soon as possible as the news changes.

For right now, I encourage you to stay the course.  Do not give in to fear.  Encourage each other in our sure and certain hope in Christ Jesus. Love and serve your neighbor.  Use the opportunity the Lord has given us to speak the peace of his Gospel to those afraid of death.

If you are elderly or have serious hearth issues, be proactive in protecting yourself from exposure to the virus.

If you are healthy, even if you get the virus the CDC says you will likely experience mild to moderate symptoms of fever and coughing.  Like any virus, if you drink plenty of fluids and get rest your normally healthy body will fight the virus. If you get sick, protect others around you by self-quarantine.

The Southern District will be making updated recommendations soon regarding continued worship in light of the CDC recommendation to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people.

So hold tight. Pray. Do not fear. Love and serve your neighbor with the Gospel of Christ Jesus. And look for more info and updates as we move forward through this together.

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)