It occurred to me that in the busy-ness of last Friday, I neglected to offer Janice a Happenings article. So, I will offer some thoughts today. Considering the news, inquiries, and concerns raised over the last few days, I will address the concerns about the Corona Virus. First the disclaimers though. I am not a doctor. Even as someone with a compromised immune system I do not get easily alarmed about matters about health. And, as late as yesterday, I was not overly concerned about a need to respond to the threat here and now. However, as I listen to the news and consider how “connected” we are to others, my concerns are rising. I am even wondering if this is not a good time to consider expanding our web presence and live streaming capabilities.
As many of you know we “practiced” not shaking hands after worshipping this week and I thought it was a good thing to do. I would not mind hearing from you. I would also like to share an email from our conference. The Central Atlantic Conference sent out an advisory dated March 3 for us to consider. I will share it with you and the Council. Please note this is already a week old and possibly even outdated.
Dear Central Atlantic Conference,
As you know, people in several parts of the world have contracted the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”). Although our Conference appears to be located presently in a relatively low-risk location with respect to an outbreak at this time, I believe it both faithful and wise to share information that prayerfully may help prepare you, your congregations and other ministry settings should there be a major outbreak in your communities. Below please find some things to consider in your planning in case of a possible outbreak. This is adapted with gratitude from the Disaster Ministry Team of the New York Conference as well as resources available through our national setting.
COMMON SENSE ACTIONS:
1. Get a flu shot.
2. Stay at home if you are sick.
3. Have a plan to assist church members who are ill if they in need of food or need to be taken to the doctor. Check on them regularly.
PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE:
1. Make hand sanitizers readily available.
2. Have tissues in the pews.
3. Clean restrooms and post signs reminding folks to wash hands for 20 seconds minimum.
PASSING OF THE PEACE
Perhaps in lieu of shaking hands or hugs, offer the following options;
Make “praying hands” and/or bowing to one another.
Verbal greetings and smile without a handshake or hug.
Touch elbows or make a ‘fist bump’ (popular with younger congregants).
REMEMBER YOU MAY NOT KNOW WHO IN YOUR CONGREGATION HAS A COMPROMISED IMMUNE SYSTEM AND MAY BE SUSCEPTABLE TO CONTRACTING RESPIRATORY DISEASES
1. Communion cups are safe if they are prepared by sanitized or gloved hands and only handled by the recipient of the cup. The same with bread.
2. Modified intinction, where the congregants come forward for the bread and instead of dipping bread into a common cup are asked to take an individual communion cup filled with juice.
3. A common cup for intinction should be avoided as fingers inevitably touch the juice.
4. People who are coughing and sneezing should not serve the elements.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER CONSIDERATIONS YOU MIGHT THINK ABOUT REGARDING A POTENTIAL OUTBREAK:
How your church might alert your members should a member contract the coronavirus.
Under what circumstances church staffs might be paired down to critical staff only or work from home.
Under what circumstances the church facility might be shuttered for a minimum of 14 days, including: a) What ministries and facility use might be affected; and b) how administrative and financial operations, including payroll, might be addressed.
How church leaders might stay in touch with church members and through what avenues will this plan of action be communicated and discussed with the congregation.
The Conference also suggested relying on the Cneter for Disease Control and provided links which did not transfer very well to this site. If desired, I can provide these links to you.
THIS SUNDAY’S LEADERSHIP TEAM:
Presiding: The Rev. Dale Krotee
Music Director and Organist: J. Curtis White
Immanuel Church Chancel Choir
Pianist: Lynne Breil, Tina Lyte
Acolyte: Adam Elzey
Ushers: Bill & Kim Bair, Carole Segar, Ashton Elzey
Nursery Staff: Stephanie Carmine
Nursery Assistant: Diana Krotee
Sound System: Jack Breil, Keith Malkus, Tom Wilkison
This Week at Immanuel: (Office hours M-F, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)
9:15-11:30am Nursery Care
10:00 am Worship
11:00am Fellowship in the Narthex
Hosts: Mission Committee
12-1:00pm Lenten Lunch at Grace UMC
1:00pm Blood Bank
6:30pm Choir Practice
The Missions Committee will be hosting the refreshments following worship on Sunday, March 15th.
Have you ever wondered just what the Mission Committee does and how it responds to needs
in our community. If so, this will be your chance to learn just what the function is and how it operates.
See you on Sunday.
LADIES PRAYER BREAKFAST: March 21st, 8:00am at IUCC in Fellowship Hall.
BINGO: The CE Board will be doing their Family Bingo on March 28th. Doors open at 5:00pm and Bingo will begin at 6:00pm. This is a fun evening for the entire family so plan to join us.
EASTER FLOWERS: Now accepting orders for Easter flowers. Order forms are located on the table in the Narthex and in your March newsletter. Deadline: April 5th.
Communion: Please note we are moving the celebration of Communion from the first Sunday of April, April 5, to Easter Sunday on April 12.
Janice Haller, Church Secretary