As the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads, it is certainly prudent to take reasonable precautions as we gather for worship, classes, small groups, and events. The healing ministry that Jesus modeled for us includes basic care for one another as well as care for ourselves. In that spirit, here are the things we are doing at Messiah.

Continuing to Worship
Gathering for worship, singing, receiving the Lord's Supper, and being with friends all support your wellness. However, if you are sneezing, coughing, or running a fever, it would be best to stay at home and take care of yourself, contacting your doctor if symptoms persist.

Greeting one another during Worship
We invite you to greet one another by extending your spoken welcome while resisting the urge to shake hands or hug. Yeah, it may be tough, but it's important.

Giving your Offering
Instead of passing a plate from hand to hand, a large basket for offerings will be located near the front of the sanctuary. You may place your offerings and Discover Cards there as you come forward for Communion.

Ministry in Daily Life
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. All the time. All-day long. At all times, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth – the places germs enter the body. For our part, we are daily disinfecting all interior and exterior door handles, handrails, and surfaces in the restrooms at church. Keep a respectful distance from people when you are talking to them. If you're sick, stay home! Encourage others to stay home if they are sick. And, parents, please teach these measures to your children.

Inclusion and Respect as our Christian Call
It is critical that we equip ourselves with facts and personally take on the responsibility of dismantling the myths and stigmas that have resulted in rampant ignorance and discrimination. COVID-19 does not recognize race, nationality, or ethnicity. We can interrupt stigma by sharing accurate information and speaking up if we hear, see or read misinformation, or witness or experience harassment or discrimination.

From our History
This is not the first time the church has lived through an epidemic. Linked to this email is an online article in Christianity Today titled "It is Faithful to Flee an Epidemic? What Martin Luther Teaches Us about Coronavirus." We commend this short essay to your reading.

In God's Peace, Prs. Peter and Kathy Braafladt

What Martin Luther Teaches Us about Coronavirus »