I share the following message with you in an effort to provide information and a sense of non-anxious peace. In the face of the coronavirus, please take care of each other, and know my prayers are with you.
Even as I share these very serious measures, my prayer, again, is that we not become anxious and fearful. As always, be informed concerning precautions and follow the national Centers for Disease Control’s guidance (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html).
Here is a list of suggested guidelines for healthy practices from the Iowa Conference that I think will also be helpful for the people of Kentucky.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. All the time. All day long.
- Alcohol-based liquid hand sanitizer should be used by anyone distributing Communion elements.
- At Passing-the-Peace, bow to one another or say “Peace be with you,” to your neighbor.
- Wash hands thoroughly after handshakes (carry hand sanitizer) or refrain from handshakes or hugging.
- At all times avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; these are the places germs enter the body.
- When you cough or sneeze, cough/sneeze into your bent elbow or a tissue, not into your hand. If you have to blow your nose, dispose of the tissue in a waste container with a lid that closes, and either wash your hands immediately or use alcohol-based liquid to sanitize your hands.
- If you are sick, stay at home. Don’t hesitate to go to the doctor or urge others to do so.
- Create systems for wellness checks in the congregation, especially older people whom you haven’t seen for a while.
- If your congregation has a food ministry, follow the World Health Organization’s recommendations regarding safety. (https://www.who.int/health-topics/food-safety/)
- To limit exposure, encourage the use of Zoom, Go-To-Meeting, or Skype for meetings.
Please stay updated as information becomes available from the CDC and WHO. (WHO - https://www.who.int/news-room or CDC - https://www.cdc.gov/)
Let Your Healing Light
“Let your healing light shine, O God. Give doctors unusual skill in the healing arts. Give researchers success in curing diseases. Give Counselors insight and healing love. Give pastors discernment and tender compassion. Give health workers courage and boundless courage and boundless hope. Let your healing light shine, O God.”
-Richard J. Foster
Again, please know that my prayers are with you as we continue to live with courage and faith in the face of all that might confront us in the days ahead.
Bishop Leonard Fairley