Being Smart and Being Prepared

At Christ Our Savior we know that Jesus is our source of all comfort. He provides all that we need and protects us from danger. We know that does not mean we are free from danger or harm as a follower of Jesus. We do know it means that no matter what happens in our lives, hardship and good, Jesus is in the midst of it and is working His good will for us. We understand that no matter the outcome, including death, Jesus is victorious and in Him we are victorious. Read more about what that means to us in Pastor Davenports blog Source of All Comfort.

We are also aware that God gives us a responsibility to live in this world and look for Him as we respond to the joys and hurts of life. As we consider the new threat of the Coronavirus we want to take precautions and measures to help keep everyone safe. At the time of the writing of this blog there were no reported cases of the virus in Michigan. We would like to highlight some of the recommendations from the CDC and have shared what these tips may look like for people at Christ Our Savior as we respond to the virus and its current threat for our members and worshipers.

Our Parish Nurse is in close contact with our staff as we continue to monitor the threat and assess the best way to respond. 
We encourage everyone to visit the CDC website for current information about COVID-19 and the outbreak. You will also find suggested ways to respond and help keep the virus from spreading. Here is some information from the CDC website.
Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to stop the spread of germs, including the Coronavirus. Germs don't rinse off with water, soap makes the germs slippery so they can then be rinsed off with the soap.  Along with the everyday practices of hand washing after going to the bathroom and at meal times, it is especially important to wash or sanitize your hands after being in a public space or after touching common surfaces. If you are using a hand sanitizer, make sure it has at least 60% alcohol in it in order to kill the germs. In some of the pews and around the building you will find bottles of hand sanitizer for your use. Please do not take them.
The CDC says that the virus seems to be spreading most easily when a person is the sickest and during person to person contact. If you are sick, please stay home. This includes from church services. Christ Our Savior's goal is to have Sunday's sermons loaded onto the website by Monday afternoon/evening. We encourage you to find a previous week's sermon to listen to or there are many churches including Lutheran ones that stream their services live so you can join in the whole service. Another option is to read some scripture and meditate on that portion of scripture for a bit and pray. Sing some hymns or find a devotional that you can read and use as your time to receive from God.
At Christ Our Savior, as in many other congregations, we want to be welcoming and friendly. Part of the way we do this is our greeting at the beginning of service and shaking hands with the pastors after service. During our greeting time we often shake hands and/or give hugs. We know from the CDC that this virus is primarily spread through close contact. One option you have is to say hello without a handshake. A wave across the pew, a smile and hello, a fist or elbow bump are all good ways to be friendly without sharing as many germs. Be aware that if someone is choosing not to shake your hand or is keeping their distance it does not mean they are being unfriendly. Give everyone a little extra space in this time of uncertainty.
While the CDC has said that the primary way the virus is spread is through personal contact, they do acknowledge that some spread occurs by touching a surface that has the germ on it. We had a group of volunteers that came into our sanctuary and took time to wipe down our common surfaces before this past weekend's services. We plan to have people do this regularly as we try to help control the spread of the virus. If you are interested in helping with this effort please contact the office.
When you sneeze or cough help keep the germs from spreading by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or the crook of your elbow. Using a tissue is the best way to do this as you can throw the tissue away. After you have thrown the tissue away wash or sanitize your hands. Make a conscious effort to keep your hands off your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
At Christ Our Savior we offer communion every weekend. On the first and third Sundays of the month communion is offered at the 8:30am service. On the second and fourth Sundays communion is offered at the 11:00am service. On the fifth Sunday we offer communion at both of our services. Each time we offer communion the common cup and individual cup are offered. It is always up to the individual to choose which cup they take. At this time, we will continue to offer both choices.

As we continue to move forward, we will watch the information and recommendations that are given by the CDC. Our Parish Nurse, Jan Bernick, will continue to be part of our effort to inform you about the virus as well as the ways that we as a church should and can respond.
Cover photo taken from the Public Health Image Library of the CDC

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