Letter to the Congregation March 12, 2020

Covid-19 GraphicMarch 12, 2020

To our Beloved Community,

I am writing to you concerning the COVID 19 virus and other infectious diseases.  A call to prayer from H. Herbert Nelson, our Stated Clerk of the General Assembly and a letter from Dr. Rob Anderson, our former Presbytery moderator are included as links at the bottom of this email.  Both are physicians who have wisdom about the fear and our reaction to the threat of virus.

Dr. Rob Anderson reminds us to “use good judgment.  Wash your hands, avoid high risk contact and stay home if you are sick with a respiratory infection.”
 
Last night the worship committee of the Presbyterian Church in Geneva made the decision to reduce infection by refraining from physically passing the peace and taking precaution while serving communion.

If we serve communion, the servers will be the only ones touching the plates, cups and bread. And, they will wear plastic gloves.  Those who are able, will walk to the stationed servers in the front and back of the chapel or sanctuary. If you cannot easily walk to a station, someone will serve you in your pew.

There is a possibility that we will suspend serving communion. 

Also, to prevent sharing germs, we will place offering plates at the entrances of both the sanctuary and the chapel .

If we cancel worship services or church activities you will receive an email and/or phone call. Please listen to the radio and TV announcements.
 
If you are ill we are concerned about you. Please know that you can connect with us via the phone or emails.  We will hold you in our prayers and do what we can to help you. Let us all pray for our health care workers who are at risk and working long hours.  Also, please keep our medical researchers in your prayers as they seek a vaccine for this virus.  (adapted from the thoughts and prayers of Rob Anderson, MD)

For additional guidance made by the Presbyterian Church please refer to Guidance for Congregations at www.pcusa.org/pda.  Below is a list of 5 items that you can do to reduce the threat of spreading the COVID 19 virus.

  1. Infected or ill members should stay home to prevent spreading the viruses to other people.
  2. Members of the congregation should consider sitting in alternate rows to provide the recommended 3 foot ‘social distance’ concept during an outbreak.
  3. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be placed in the restrooms for use after hand washing.
  4. Consider bringing your own bottled water and not using water fountains when you come to church.
  5. During the passing of the peace, simply smile and say the words, without hugs or hand shaking.  An elbow bump may be appropriate.

Pastor Deb
Presbyterian Church in Geneva

Links to referenced documents:
1. A call to prayer from H. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
2. Letter from Dr. Rob Anderson, former Presbytery moderator