A Letter About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Dear Calvary Family:
I’m sure many of you have been growing increasingly concerned, as have I, about news reports of the coronavirus pandemic. Large group gatherings such as college basketball tournaments, the NBA and the NHL have been cancelled, and Major League Baseball is postponing the start of its season. Many colleges have dismissed their students from the dorms and are going to all online instruction, and many school systems are considering extended spring breaks of several weeks. Some see these as wise precautions, and others as evidence of unwarranted, irrational panic. Time will tell.
As Christians, we should approach such situations with all appropriate caution, but not with panic or fear. The Bible tells us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” Fear is the opposite of faith. Faith assures us that God is still on His throne, and He is not wringing His hands over the coronavirus, or anything else, for that matter. None of this has taken Him by surprise.
That being said, He has called us to use our sound minds to make wise decisions. Looking ahead to our weekend gatherings, there are no plans to cancel anything at this point. Should the public health authorities call for church and other gatherings to be suspended, we will re-evaluate at that time.
Here are some common-sense precautions we will be taking going forward:
- As with the flu or bronchitis or the stomach bug or any other illness, if you are not feeling well, please stay home. If your child is not feeling well, please keep him/her home. If you have run a fever within 24 hours of church time, please stay home.
- As we did a few years ago when the flu was raging, we will institute a “no handshake” policy for the foreseeable future. If I stick out my hand to greet you (after 34 years in ministry, it’s an automatic response), don’t take it! Greet one another with a smile and a wave!
- Please make liberal use of the hand sanitizer stations in the church. All of them have been freshly filled. It’s also advisable to BYOP – Bring Your Own Purel.
- Use your own best judgment as to whether you should be in a crowd. The coronavirus (as with the flu) is having its greatest mortality among the elderly, the immune system compromised, and those with diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and other underlying chronic illnesses.
- If you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, cough/sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
- The Health Department has asked us to consider not passing the plates for the offering. As always, we have numerous ways to give. Most of our people give during Sunday School, and a few are using our new online giving tools. We will evaluate the best way to give the opportunity to give during worship while minimizing the number of hands touching the plates.
Let us join together in prayer for a quick end and a small impact from this latest bug. And let us come together on Sunday to praise the Lord of heaven and earth for all of His goodness to us!