Christ Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Covid-19 Letter

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Dear fellow redeemed at Christ,

Covid-19 isn’t just in the news.  It’s on all our minds one way or another.  Already, our lives have been greatly impacted.  Above all else we trust in God during times of crisis to help us as no one and nothing else can.  Furthermore, we also seek how we may serve God and help those around us who may be in need.  The church exists for times such as this.

God has also blessed us to be able to respond appropriately and intelligently to the best of our ability.  Such a response is not easy.  The situation is changing daily if not hourly.  Even though some of our precautions might feel alarming, it’s vitally important that we not panic and make things worse by overreacting or being motivated by fear.

We are not currently, as far as I know as of the writing of this letter, in a position where cases of covid-19 have been identified in Wood County or the counties adjacent.  Once that happens, we will have policies firmly in place to deal with the outbreak.  For this weekend, purely as preparatory and precautionary measures, we will implement several practices that may be beneficial in the future for stopping the spread of this virus and for benefitting the health and safety of our congregation and community.

I’ll outline the practices we will follow for the time being.  Please note that these won’t be permanent changes.

We will not have the “shaking of hands” after services nor the “sharing of the peace” during worship services.  As you greet one another, you may consider “elbow-bumps” or fist bumps instead of shaking hands—or, greeting each other in ways that don’t involve close contact.  Be patient with others and understanding of those who may miss a handshake or even a hug.  Again, this is a temporary measure.

  • We will soon place hand sanitizer in the pews, as well as on the altar.  Please feel free to use them, but don’t take them home with you.  Also, pastors, money counters, elders, and ushers are urged to use hand sanitizer and wash hands often.  Those serving communion will wash and/or sanitize immediately before and after communion.  As the situation arises, we will examine practices for the offering where we might do something different than offering plates, which could potentially spread the virus.  You may also wish to consider just using the screen for the worship service.  We will provide all you absolutely need on-screen. 

  • For yourself, please do make sure that you exercise basic precautions such as frequent washing for at least 20 seconds, sanitizing, and being mindful of those around you, and if you should sneeze or cough, seek to cover up using the bend in your arm rather than your hands. (It is very important to cover up any way you can.) If you are healthy, it does no good to cover up with facemasks.  Just use basic common sense and hygiene practices.

  • We will still serve communion, but we will, for the time being, not use intinction at the contemporary service.  Altar guild may consider placing the individual cups, leaving a space in between cups.  The pastor will not hand out the cups.  Please take the cup with care as the tray is presented to you.

  • Please be mindful of covid-19 symptoms.  Symptoms can include fever (in almost every case), cough, and shortness of breath.  If you have a fever or other symptoms, we ask that you remain at home.  Please feel free to contact one of the pastors or the church office for prayer and other needs that we can safely help you with.  If you do have these symptoms, please call the doctor, too, rather than going in person to the clinic.

  • As you have heard on the news, large gatherings of people are being curtailed.  Some in government have even suggested that churches no longer hold public worship services.  As for us, we are normally under 250 persons per worship service as far as attendance, which is below the threshold for being a large gathering.  We are not planning on calling off services.  Yet, we do realize that conditions could potentially arise where we may have no choice in the matter.  Therefore, our congregation will be developing a plan where we continue to function as best as possible and continue to minister with the Gospel, even if public gathering becomes an impossibility.  Already now, you can take precautionary and preparatory steps to make sure that our connectedness as a congregation is maximized.  Please, if you have access to a smart phone, electronic device, or computer, make sure that you sign up for our church’s app.  You can search for Christ, Marshfield in the Google Play store, or on Apple’s app store.  (Google them if you’re on your computer.)  Also, using our church app, you can sign up for “online giving.”  This might be especially important if our attendance is impacted. Remember, you also have access to many resources for free on RightNow media as a member of our church.  Also, if you haven’t yet signed up for the email newsletter, please contact the church office or go to our church website, and finally if you are on Facebook, be sure to like and follow our church Facebook page.  Remember that we can go live on Facebook with services and other content.  You may even wish to update the church with your current mobile number.

We will do our very best to keep you updated on future developments as they occur.

In Christ’s love,
Pastor Daryn & Pastor Andrew

Links below to the Centers for Disease Control information about COVID-19:
  • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Links to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services information about COVID-19:
  • https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/covid-19.htm
  • https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm
Posted in ,
Tagged with

Related Posts

Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags