Concerns and Precautions Regarding COVID-19
Posted on March 4, 2020 | Posted by Mary Stoneback
From the Office of the Bishop:
As of now, the immediate risk to American public is low. We will continue to share any updated recommendations from the CDC as they emerge. As congregations continue to gather for worship in light of concerns around the Corona virus, we encourage you to be mindful of the same basic precautions you would take during cold and flu season:
· Stay home if you are sick; wash your hands with soap and water regularly; cough into your elbow, etc.
· For those who are more vulnerable during flu season, you may consider passing the peace verbally or bumping elbows, or passing the hand sanitizer along with the peace!
· Additional attention to clean hands for those presiding over the table and assisting with communion should be a priority.
· Additional resources regarding communion and other liturgical practices are on our website. There is no one correct answer in regards to communion. Some studies have shown that common cup (particularly with a silver chalice) has the lowest risk of spreading disease. Care should be taken with intinction around fingers touching the wine while dipping their bread.
· If receiving wine by any means concerns you, receive only the bread—our Lutheran faith in the presence of the body and blood of Christ in both the bread and wine of the Eucharist teaches us that each element is complete and sufficient in itself to communicate to us God’s grace and healing in the sacrament. If you wish not to receive the wine, simply pause or bow to hear the words “The Blood of Christ, shed for you,” and reverently move on.
· If you have a high number of vulnerable people or have a number of folks with colds or the flu, consider having food served onto plates during fellowship time from whoever is hosting, rather than having guests self-serve from a large platter or buffet line.
· Bishop Rick Jaech of the SW Washington Synod offered a helpful and printable summary of recommendations.