Over the past few days I have heard from concerned members of the Restoration family asking how we can worship together safely in light of the spread of COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus. In an effort to respond sensitively and wisely, I have sought counsel from other Anglican leaders who are also challenged with worshipping faithfully while protecting members of their congregations from the potential spread of the virus.
In advance of worship on Sunday we want to make you aware of how we are adapting our service. This is not meant to cause alarm and we are thankful that the immediate risk to our congregation is low. By intentionally developing proper precautionary measures we hope to ease concern for some and raise awareness for others. The risk of illness is greater for seniors and those have other health conditions so we can love our neighbor as ourselves by caring for those who may feel vulnerable when they gather with others to worship.
These guidelines are similar to those we should follow with any cold or flu outbreak. Restoration will temporarily use the following protocols beginning this Sunday. These guidelines will be reviewed and revised as needed.
Passing the Peace
Viruses likes colds, flu, and Covid-19 can be spread through skin to skin contact such as shaking hands. When we pass the peace we will remind everyone to only pass a verbal “Peace” with each other. “Bumping” elbows is also a safe way to pass the peace, if you prefer.
Prior to coming to the table, ministers will throughly disinfect their hands. For the time being, we will practice intinction (dipping) as our only method of receiving wine. In order to limit the number of people who come in contact with the bread and the wine, the minister will dip the wafer into the chalice and then place the wine-dipped bread into the hands of worshippers as they come forward to receive communion.
We will still have gluten-free wafers available for those who need them. If you would prefer to receive bread that has not been dipped in wine please let the minister know when it is your turn to receive. And as always, if you prefer to only receive a blessing, cross your arms over your chest and the minister will pray for you.
Children ages 2-5 are asked to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands before entering the children’s ministry areas. Children of all ages will use hand sanitizer or wash their hands prior to being served any food at snack time.
Prepare for worship this Sunday by washing your hands frequently and using hand sanitizer as a second line of defense when needed. Avoid touching your face and spreading germs to and from your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you are not feeling well, please stay home. Finally, we are called to care for our world and love our neighbors by praying for a swift end to this virus. Please join us in asking for God to stop the spread of the virus and heal those who are sick.