As you are aware, concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the world is raising fears for many people and even causing church leaders to reconsider many of our practises, at least for the time being.
The council of Faith Lutheran Church has talked about our practises in light of the spread of the coronavirus and is making the following recommendations for our life as a worshipping community.
- If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of the virus (fever, coughing, or difficulty in breathing), please stay home and avoid contact with others. Thoroughly washing hands often with hot water and soap for twenty seconds at a time will go a long way to helping prevent infection.
- When you enter the church at either the Brant Avenue or Church Street entrances you will find hand sanitizers on the wall. Please use these before entering the sanctuary.
- Many people are uncomfortable shaking hands these days. Please respect their concerns. A smile and hearty “good morning” make for a wonderfully friendly greeting.
- If you need to cough or sneeze, please cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your arm.
- Please refrain from shaking hands during the sharing of the Peace.
- Remember that, for Holy Communion:
- Intinction (dipping the wafer in the cup of wine) is very un-hygienic. Please do not intinct.
- For the time being, only the pouring chalice with the individual glasses will be used for receiving the wine at Holy Communion.
- Please be assured that you may choose to receive only the bread for Holy Communion, and you will still, none-the-less, have received the full sacrament.
- Because the sacrament is offered nearly every Sunday at Faith, the choice to not receive Holy Communion occasionally is a perfectly valid and personal choice for which you will not be judged.
Additionally, please know that Altar Guild members who prepare the vessels for Holy Communion are being instructed to thoroughly wash their hands with soap and hot water before handling the vessels, and those who serve Communion (including me) will be taking a few moments to wash our hands with soap and hot water immediately before serving the sacrament.
Finally, you are encouraged to spread out at worship and use all the pews from front to back, keeping space between you and other worshippers.
We are trying to track down more hand sanitizer to have in the pews, but as you are probably aware, it is difficult to find in the stores.
We trust that these measures will give you the confidence to fully and enthusiastically worship with us on Sunday morning while also helping us to contain the spread of the coronavirus in our community. Please pray for all those infected throughout the world, for the friends and families of those who have died, and for the medical professionals and scientists who are working diligently to contain the spread of this disease.
Here is a link to some very helpful information about this virus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIL5m5XznNY
See you Sunday! Wash your hands!!