Dear Brothers, sisters, siblings all,
It is no secret that the Corona Virus (COVID-19) is all over the news. This is not the time for panic, hysteria, or even plain ‘ol everyday overreaction. It is, however, time to put precautions in place, and so New Covenant UMC is going to be responsible in caring for ourselves and others.
You cannot find a group of bigger huggers than our New Covenant church family. Many of us are also in the higher risk populations either due to age or underlying health problems. So as of today and until further notice, we will greet one another with either an “elbow shake” or a wave and a good-nature laugh because we will most definitely not be losing the joy and humor that fills our church body.
At the present time, we will continue to offer Holy Communion each week in worship with these changes:
- I along with the lay liturgist will continue to use hand sanitizer before touching the elements and serving you. Because it is not uncommon for many of you to hold my hands when I serve you, I will re-sanitize after each row is served.
- You will also use hand sanitizer as you come forward (on tables at the end of the Communion rails) before being served to minimize any sharing of germs as I move down the row.
- The lay liturgist will serve you a prefilled Communion cup rather than offering our usual shared common cup.
- And if you feel the slightest hesitation about receiving Communion, remember that while an important part of our life together, this is not necessary for salvation. God loves you just the same and so do we.
We are also in the process of trying to set up Facebook live streaming so that anyone who is unable (or too nervous) to be present on Sunday mornings is still able to be in worship with us for both services. If you are not on Facebook, this is a good time to join even if the church and I are your only ‘friends’! We are seeking to raise the money for the equipment necessary to provide a high quality live stream so that you are able to experience a higher level of presence with us. If you would like to donate toward this $4000 equipment, please let me know.
Additionally, for your convenience we have set up the option of online giving through our church website. Go to the ‘donation’ button on the top bar of the website and scroll down to the button at ‘online giving’. Or just use this link: https://newcovenantumc.churchcenter.com/giving.
Know that I continue to follow reports from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization and we will respond as necessary. I have already laid the groundwork in the event that any other changes become necessary so that they may be implemented with simply a word from me. So now, everybody breathe. Wash your hands. Not sure how long? Say the Lord’s Prayer before you start to wash off the soap and increase your prayer life in the process! Cover your mouth and nose for coughs and sneezes. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Clean and disinfect commonly used objects (like keyboards, desks, tables, etc.) Stay home if you’re sick, call your doctor, and keep a distance from those who are spewing germs. Remember that our Lord Jesus Christ has told us repeatedly to not be afraid. So let us be responsible, do what we can do to protect ourselves and others, and then relax and place our trust in God who is with us always and in all things.
Peace be with you,