As cases of Coronavirus increase, we see a lot of anxiety and uncertainty about what the church should do. First, it is crucial that we resist the temptation to choose or to act out of fear (Isaiah 41:10) or anxiety (Philippians 4:6). However, churches are in uncharted territory regarding how to respond to the current epidemic. We don’t want to ignore the risks of this outbreak and regret later that we didn’t take actio n; after all, the church can be a strong agent to prevent sickness and protect the vulnerable. We are an integral part of our community, and many social contacts run through our church. If we can recognize the early signs of a local COVID-19 outbreak, we can lead in protecting those inside and outside our church. At this time, we are not cancelling our worship gatherings. However, we want you to know that we are taking the necessary precautions and will continue to monitor the situation. This coming week, the staff will be reviewing each one of our ministries and come up with a plan based on the risk rate for each one of our activities in SCCC. We will be making the necessary changes and adjustments to ensure the safety of our members. We will be following some guidelines from the Alberta Baptist Association and the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, providing a safe plan based on sound epidemiologic principles. For now, we want you to follow these simple and basic instructions: (1) Pray for the safety of our church and the rest of the world facing the challenges of this epidemic. (2) If you are feeling ill or has symptoms such as fever or coughing, please stay at home. (3) If you have a low immune system and/or any health issue that could put you at risk, please stay at home. (4) Apply the necessary and proper hygiene practices, as washing your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, be friendly but don’t shake hands, and keep away from sick people. (5) We are going to use an alternative to shaking hands — elbow bumps. (6) Be aware of and take precautions suggested by Alberta Health. Please reference this link for further information: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16997.aspx Also, SCCC is committed to providing a safe and clean environment for everyone. (1) We will have an alternative method for our Offerings. (2) We are going to suspend our Communion temporarily. (3) We will continuously sanitize our door handles/knobs, and we will wipe surfaces regularly with disinfectant. (4) And, we will have only one person helping to serve coffee or tea at the foyer. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me at the church during office hours. I just want to finish and remind you that even the future may be uncertain, we do not need to fear. Without ignoring the risks, we should continue to trust in the Lord’s promises and purposes.
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