Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I am writing to you because of the coronavirus that is currently spreading around the world. You may have heard that it is necessary to take preventive action. I have included some information below from the Center for Disease Control along with a link to their web site.
I'd like you to know that here at St. John’s we are taking steps to limit exposure while at the same time continue on with ministry. For example, until we hear that the virus is contained and that we are returning back to normal societal interaction, we will only use individual cups for communion; we simply will not offer the common cup. Both myself, Pastor Mark and our communion distributors will continue to use hand sanitizer and/or wash their hands before serving communion. There is hand sanitizer and a sink back in the Sacristy, as well as personal hand sanitizer dispensers where Pastor Mark and I sit for worship. We will also discourage personal touch if there is a Sharing of the Peace until church leadership decides to encourage it at a later time. Also, going forward, I will greet worshipers after services as usual but will allow you to choose what method of greeting: handshake, fist bump, elbow bump, wave or just a friendly hello!
As for the Lenten Suppers at 6:00 PM and Services at 7:00 PM planned for Wednesday evenings, I think that we can continue for now. We will simply need to be mindful of preventative care like frequent hand washing and social distancing.
And a reminder, as stated below, if you don't feel good or think you might be coming down with something, please do not go out. If any of St. John’s members are not able to get to the store, please let me, Pastor Mark, the Elders and/or the church office know and we will make arrangements to get any items you need.
We, as God’s people, do not live in a spirit of fear. We have already died and risen to new life in the waters of Holy Baptism! Yet, in this present day, we do want to be responsible for our health and the health of others. No worries; we will all get through this together, keeping in mind that our great and awesome God is always near, ever-present, and faithful! May you all greet each new day with this promise: your baptism = cleansed and forgiven!
May God bless and keep you all with His grace and peace today and always!
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)