Friday, March 13, 2020

A Voice of Caution. . .

Grace Lutheran Church and the Corona Virus Threat:

We will not be cancelling worship services. In time of fear and threat, people need the comfort of God's Word preached, their sins absolved, and the healing food of Christ's body and blood more than ever.

We will be taking ordinary precautions and urge our people to do so also. Wash your hands. Wash them for 20 seconds or more in hot, soapy water. Use hand sanitizer as a supplement to the primary prevention of clean hands.

Do not shake hands. Greet each other and your pastors with words. We will omit the shaking of hands during the sharing of the peace and will instead greet each other with the customary words:  The Lord be with you. And also with you.  OR Peace be with you.  And also with you. This is our usual greeting.

In the Distribution of the Holy Sacrament, the pastors and those assisting wash their hands and use hand sanitizer immediately prior to distributing the Lord's Body and Blood.  The chalice has a long and studied history showing that it is not a threat.  The pastors wipe the chalice and the wine itself contributes to the integrity of what is distributed along with the precious metal of the cup.  The individual cups will be handed to each communicant to minimize the number of hands that touch the individual cups.  The pastors receive first and at the end as that remains of the Sacrament after the distribution is consumed.

If you are symptomatic, stay home. Don't go to work. Wear a mask if you are caring for someone who is ill. This is the best thing you can do for your neighbor in Christ. Be responsible and considerate of those around you. Contact your physician and seek medical care but stay away from the public until you are no longer symptomatic (which is what we ought to do especially during flu and cold season).

The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1) We must take care lest the panic overcome common sense and the considered advice of medical professionals.

A more detailed information sheet is available at the Church.  Even as we have adopted these procedures, we are mindful of the faithful leadership of Synod President Matthew Harrison here below.

I draw your attention to this very pastoral letter from Pres. Lucas Woodford and suggest that his words and calm direction for a worried church are worthy of a wider distribution (PDF). 

1 comment:

Carl Vehse said...

Churches in Santa Clara County, CA, including The Lutheran Church of Our Savior (LCMS), Cupertino, are cancelling church services based on an edict from the County Public Health Department outlawing gatherings of 100 or more. This outlawing of gatherings is in effect for the next three weeks but may be extended into Holy Week.