eNotes | An Update about Covid-19

Dear Friends in Christ,
I want to update you about changes the church is making as we continue to remain aware and respond to the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. As two cases have been identified in the metro-Detroit area, the governor has discouraged large gatherings of over 100 people. While the concern is not immediate for the church or our neighborhood, information is changing daily and we seek to respond in ways that promote the wellbeing and healthy of our church and our community.
All worship services, meetings, groups, and events will continue. Even as we continue, we want to ask people who feel ill or have symptoms or are in a category of higher risk to remain at home. If you have a responsibility at church, please let Margie ( margie@japc.org) or Pastor Matt ( matt@japc.org) know and we will find a substitute. 
Gathering for worship and church life is always special and each person in our faith community is meaningful. The realities of a virus will not change this. But we want to remain calm and cautious. If you meet any criteria of increased risk by the Centers for Disease Control, please consider your risk and exercise your best judgment in terms of the health and safety of you and your family. 
We want to protect those most vulnerable to exposure. To do this, here are the precautions that we have already taken:

  • Cleaning routines have increased and disinfecting practices of commonly used surfaces, objects, doors, and so on, has significantly increased, especially before and after significant use.
  • Hand sanitizing stations have been added throughout the church building.
  • Passing of the Peace has changed to using body language in silence rather than handshakes.
  • Passing the Plates for offering will evolve to ushers holding the plate rather than handing the plates to each other to limit the number of people who touch them.
  • For church meetings we continue the practice of using our conference phone so anyone with risk of exposure may participate from home.
  • Committees, teams, and groups are encouraged to consider the needs of participants and to adjust or cancel as is appropriate. 

As updates on the virus are made known, the church, it’s staff, and our leadership will adjust and make changes as necessary. We cannot predict the effect of this pandemic, so we seek to take appropriate caution without anxiety. I ask that you would have patience and empathy for others as we seek to be faithful in our response and respect your decisions to remain healthy and well. 
It is a difficult time for all as we seek the welfare of all people. Please reach out if you have a need, a concern, or want to help. God loves you, we love you, and we want to remain connected together and mutual support a s we seek measures to promote health and safety.
As we seek to faithfully do so, let us also remain close to God and one another in prayer. Let me offer this prayer and I hope you might offer it as well:
Loving God, 
We pray for those who are sick, for their loved ones,
We pray for those who have died because of this virus,
We pray for those who are overwhelmed, vulnerable, or afraid,
We pray for doctors, nurses, and medical staff who treat patients,
We pray for science and research communities devoted end the pandemic,
We pray for leaders, elected officials, and those responsible for decision making,
We pray for wisdom, compassion, and trust to guide us,
   as we put our abiding faith in you, God, 
   who turns to us always with abiding grace and love.
Walk with us in these anxious times, for we know you love and care for us,
even when we live in difficult and challenging experiences.
In Christ, our Lord, Amen.
Grace and Peace to you,

For more information about Covid-19, please use these links:
Center for Disease Control

State of Michigan
(this website enables you to sign-up for updates)

World Health Organization

8625 E. Jefferson Avenue | Detroit, MI 48214| 313-822-3456 | www.japc.org