Dear St. Andrew’s Church Family,
Desiring to be proactive in our response to the Coronavirus we have sought the counsel of medical professionals with regard to our common life at St. Andrew’s. As you might expect, they advised me to help diffuse the anxiety being felt by some by reminding folks that common-sense practices: washing your hands, covering your mouth with the crook of your arm if you sneeze, staying home if you’re sick, using hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60%, etc., are the best preventative measures you can take.
Corporately, we have implemented a variety of actions in our worship services to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). I want to share with you our thinking and a summary of the actions we are taking and how these responses will affect our corporate worship.
- First, please pray daily for those afflicted around the world. Pray for God to guide government and medical leaders in caring for the sick, and for the development of new vaccines. Pray for those afflicted by the virus and their families. Pray for the courageous men and women around the world who put themselves in compromising situations in order to show mercy and care for those affected by the Coronavirus. Pray also that Jesus, the Great Physician and Lord of all, will speak the healing word over the world and banish this sickness from his creation.
- Unless notified otherwise, we will continue all regularly scheduled worship services, meetings, and events.
Anyone with cold symptoms (sore throat, runny nose, continued cough) is urged to stay at home. This applies to adults and children. For those unable to attend services we will begin live-streaming our 9.00 am MPA service this Sunday. (You may view the live-stream here: https://vimeo.com/event/24398)
- Please do not shake hands, hug or kiss those around you. A smile with a “good morning” goes a long way. Similarly, with the Exchange of the Peace, please keep your greeting to an elbow bump, a smile and a warm, “peace of the Lord be with you.”
- Until further notice, Communion will be served solely by the person serving bread. He/she will dip the bread very lightly in the chalice and place it in the hand of the recipient. Those serving Communion will have washed and sanitized their hands before serving communion (we’ve been using hand sanitizer for the past two weeks). The best thing you can do is open your hand to receive the bread in the palm of your hand rather than trying to take the bread from the person distributing the bread.
If you are worried about the Coronavirus or think you may be experiencing symptoms, MUSC has established a Virtual Care Provider that is available 24/7 at the following website: http://musc.care. There they will have instructions and a code for you to use for a free online consultation with a doctor.
If you find yourself worrying or distractingly concerned by the present circumstances surrounding the virus, do not suffer through it alone. Reach out to another St. Andrew’s member or contact one of us on staff as we would be delighted to talk and pray with you.
Yours in Christ,