Grace in the Age of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Rev. Daniel Eggold

Mar 12, 2020

Readings:

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,  

The news, social media and water-cooler conversations are buzzing about the coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s at the forefront of public attention and the spread of this contagion is beginning to impact more U.S. cities, which means it’s impacting churches and ministries around the country, too.  

We pray that the spread of the virus will slow. In the meantime, we are taking precautions to guard against the spread of the coronavirus. You may notice the following changes to our Sunday worship service:

  • The elders and I will wash our hands before Holy Communion begins and use an alcohol-based, anti-bacterial solution before and after distributing Holy Communion;
  • all congregants will be asked to refrain from physical contact during the sharing of peace;
  • the chalice (or “common cup”) will not be used during the distribution of Holy Communion; and
  • the communion rail will be sanitized before and after the Divine Service.

I want to take this opportunity to remind you of the standard public health recommendations and guidance:

  • Stay home if you are feeling sick. The service s available online and can be found here.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 

In a place such as church, where we uphold and thrive on togetherness and caring unions, we must not let the crippling fear that has gained momentum around this illness isolate us from one another. Rather than being controlled by fear and allowing alarmist attitudes to dictate our everyday lives, we are called to be a beacon of hope and thoughtful composure for our world. Avoid following and spreading unconfirmed and sensational information. Stay informed and rely on trustworthy,official sources, such as: 

Also, no matter how the coronavirus or any other major event is impacting us, it is an opportunity to remember God’s faithfulness and His care for us all.

Finally, please join me in prayer for those who have been directly impacted with the illness, for those whose schedules or routines have been disrupted and for the quick end to something that is impacting millions of people around the world:

Merciful God, we know that your heart overflows with compassion for your whole creation. Pour out your Spirit on all people living with this illness, or who are living with anxiety about this illness, for which there is not yet a cure. Be with those who tend to the needs of the sick. Strengthen us all in body and spirit,console us when anxious, comfort us in grief and hearten us in discouragement.Help to remind us that you claim us as your own, and are with us wherever we go; through Christ, our healer and Lord. Amen.

In Christ,

Pastor Eggold

Prayer