|Dear Members and friends of Grace Lutheran,
During our retreat this past weekend, church council members took some time to discuss some protocols to put into place in order to be proactive in protecting against the COVID 19 Coronavirus. We also made the decision, at this point, not to cancel any of the upcoming activities at Grace this weekend including: Partners in Faith, Friday evening, 3/13 at 6 pm; the Art Auction and Concert, Saturday evening, 3/14 at 5:30 pm; Sunday Worship followed by Education hour; the Chili Cook-off, Sunday, 3/15 at 12 noon; and the Crossroads International Benefit Concert at 2:30 pm.
Here are things that we ask you to do and that we are doing:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds many times throughout the day. It has always been the practice for those celebrating and serving communion to wash their hands in the sacristy immediately before Holy Communion.
- Beginning this Sunday we will start to serve communion by procession, so that people will not be coming up to the altar rail. This means we will temporarily forego serving communion by intinction and be using individual cups. If you are still uncomfortable using the cups, it is acceptable to just receive the bread of communion. The sacrament is still complete when administered in just one kind (in this case, the consecrated bread).
- We will still observe passing of the peace but ask people not to shake hands. You may place the palms of your hands together in a gesture of reverence and speak a greeting of peace keeping a comfortable distance between yourself and others.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your bare hands; if needing to do so, use a tissue that may be disposed of at a later time.
- When you sneeze or cough, do so into your bent elbow, not into your hand. If you have to blow your nose, dispose of the tissue as soon as possible.
- Keep your distance. We don’t have to be in each other’s faces to talk. This is particularly important if someone is coughing or sneezing.
- If you’re sick, stay home! Encourage others to stay home if they’re sick. Don’t hesitate to go to the doctor and to urge others to do so.
- Use common sense; don’t be anxious; get plenty of rest; and eat as healthily as you can.
In regard to steps for disinfecting objects or hands:
- Hand sanitizer is found in the Entry Way and on the Office Counter and other places.
- Packets of sanitizing wipes have been placed in a basket on the usher’s table in the narthex. Pick up one or two before going into the sanctuary and feel free to use them to wipe the pew, the hymnal and your hands.
- Sneeze kits with Kleenex, a sanitizing wipe and cough drops are at the end of each pew in the sanctuary. Feel free to use them, but once you remove them from the pew, do not put them back. Take them with you and put any used tissue in the plastic bag.
- We will be wiping down the door handles in the narthex, offices and hallways at the end of each day.
- If you play the piano in Ronnenkamp Hall, the Fireside Room or the sanctuary, use nearby sanitizing wipes to sanitize the keys afterwards. Wipes nearest the piano in the Fireside Room may be found in the cabinet in the accessible restroom.
During this time, we will be looking for extra volunteers to:
- Assist in washing individual communion glasses, as this will now need to be done every Sunday. We will eventually get this on the Sign-up Genius. In the meantime, if you are willing to help with this task, please contact Sandy Beachley at 541-754-5501.
- Help make wellness check phone calls to people who live alone or are homebound. Inform the office or one of the pastors if willing to help with this.
- Assist with weekly disinfection procedures when we need help in this area. Please let the office know. Feel free to use the sanitizing wipes in the office and the restrooms to wipe down counters and faucets and door handles.
Up-to-date information is a good antidote for anxiety. KGW8 and many other outlets are posting the latest information. Be assured that we will be abiding by any special instructions issued by the Benton County Health Services.
Visit the website of the World Health Organization for frequent updates. Go to the page below and click “Protect Yourself” to find downloadable materials in Chinese, English, Spanish, and other languages as well as information about how to deal with anxiety over the disease: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Pray for those in other countries and our own using the prayer below or your own:
Holy and gracious God, give us the strength to meet the health crisis looming around us. Enlighten researchers that they may discover the right vaccine against this disease. Guide the doctors, nurses and all medical technicians working with those who are infected to take correct actions for their care. Protect all medical staff and family or friends caring for those who are ill. Bring together the governments and governmental agencies around the world to work together to eradicate this health threat. All this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.