March 7, 2020
There is much conversation and many opinions about COVID-19 also known as Coronavirus. We hold in prayer all those affected by the virus and their families as well as families who have lost loved ones to the virus domestically and abroad. We too continue to hold the scientists and medical professionals in our prayers as they use their God given gifts and talents to arrest the virus and discover an antidote and cure.
While we are reluctant to institute any change to our Sunday morning fellowship patterns, knowing that this time is integral to our fellowship together, we also know that we must address health and safety concerns which is foremost for everyone.
Additionally, we do not want to be fear-mongers or play into hysteria and hype.
However, a guiding value in our ministry at Saint Paul’s is that we strive to be a safe place for all people. Therefore, we have concluded that to ensure all people are safe at the church while the impact of COVID 19 (Coronavirus) is gauged, we ask that you help institute the following actions:
We are asking our Greeters to greet you on Sundays and for special events with a smile and a “fist bump” or an “elbow rub” or a wave.
During the Passing of the Peace, we will encourage everyone to do the same, so that everyone feels comfortable, welcomed and safe.
As, your pastor, I will also follow the same protocol for the time being.
We ask that everyone please be mindful of washing your hands to ensure that we are as careful as possible.
There are and will continue to be multiple dispensers of hand sanitizer around the church for use at any time. And as they are available, we will add more.
Finally, we will evaluate how Communion is served as we approach our next Communion Sunday (Palm Sunday, April 5.)
Here is what we are asking of you:
If you are feeling ill, we ask that you please stay home and worship with us via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/saintpaulswestmilton).
Please ensure that you have accurate and scientific information from sources like the Centers for Disease Control (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html). We strive to be people of faith, not fear.
Pray for first responders, medical professionals, researchers, those in government tasked to manage the situation, those who are currently infected and quarantined from family and friends and those who are fearful that they have been exposed.
Lastly, and as always, please pray for and hold in your hearts, this community of faith as we seek to follow Christ leading and live in to being the best followers we can be.
We will continue to monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control on gatherings for groups and be in dialogue with colleagues from across the Association and Conference, as well as our denominational leaders.
We continue to be grateful to serve you all.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Tim Sharon Klose
Saint Paul’s United Church of Christ, West Milton
433 High Street, West Milton, PA 17886
(570) 568-1433 / PastorTim@SPUCCWM.org
I Cor. 13 …Love trusts, love hopes, …love never fails.