Dear Church Family,
At the Reynoldsburg church, we want to provide care for our congregation in all respects, including the physical well-being of our church and community. To that end, we are asking you, our church family, to take precautions to keep yourself and others safe, especially in light of recent developments with the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
As the situation continues to unfold in our area, we want to share with you the preparations and precautions that the we are undertaking to promote the health and well-being of our families and community. We also want to share our recommendations particularly as they relate to our weekly gathering on Sunday mornings. This communication is the result of consultation with other churches, a conversation with a medical professional, and in consultation with recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov). In some instances, we have borrowed exact wording. The use of exact phrases and words is done with full permission from the original authors.
- We encourage everyone to wash their hands often and use hand-sanitizer when you are unable to use soap and water. We are planning to place hand sanitizers in locations throughout the building. Please utilize them. For your safety, we are taking great care in thoroughly disinfecting all hard surfaces and door handles. Our cleaning company is abreast of the current situation and will include disinfectants in their regular cleaning of the building.
- We are preparing to purchase individual prepackaged communion cups with wafers for the Lord’s supper. These sets will be located in the rear of the auditorium. During communion, if you are in need of a prepackaged set, please indicate by raising your hand. Currently, these sets are in high demand as many churches are deliberating the same precautionary measures. If we are unable to obtain these prepackaged sets, we will use our regular communion trays, but we will replace the communion bread we normally use with small crackers in the bread trays. This will help reduce a possible point of transmission, but this will not completely eliminate the possibility. We understand that participating in communion is an extremely important part of one’s commitment to God and the body. We will dedicate time and resources to minister to that need for those who are not in attendance.
- If you are sick and have experienced symptoms such as a fever, cough, fatigue, or body aches in the past 48 hours, we ask that you stay home. Take care of your health (and the health of those around you) by resting and recovering until you are symptom-free. This virus is proportionally much more dangerous for those with underlying health concerns such as compromised immune systems and for the elderly populations. We are asking these individuals to take extreme caution in your interactions outside of your home. If symptoms persist, please contact a medical professional immediately. Furthermore, those who are not elderly or otherwise healthy, know that if you have come in contact with the virus, you pose a severe risk to the vulnerable.
- We are an affectionate church community. We tend to display our affection for one another through hugs and handshakes. We are hard-pressed to prohibit these gestures. However, we would recommend that we all keep these gestures to a minimum during the height of the spread of this virus. Fist and elbow bumps are a recommended substitute. In any event, let us continue to show our love and appreciation for one another while observing some safer interactions.
- Today, Governor Mike DeWine announced a ban of gatherings of 100 or more. Churches are exempt from this ban. If this ban were to include churches, we will communicate that change as soon as possible. If we are ordered to cancel services, we will dedicate time and resources to create spaces for smaller worship settings, offering of communion and alternative ways to participate in the weekly contribution.
The uncertainty of this outbreak is creating anxiety in our workspaces, schools, and day-to-day activities. In the most recent hours, some of the most popular events (Basketball tournaments, Major League Soccer games) have been cancelled. In addition, many major colleges and universities have suspended face to face classes and/or extended their spring breaks. The Reynoldsburg School district has cancelled classes for March 13th to allow time for deep cleaning of schools and to afford teachers time to do lesson planning in case of an extended closure. This ordeal has real implications on families, economics and normal social interactions. This is not a time for us to panic. Likewise, this is not a time for us to ignore the significance of this moment.
We are confident that nothing will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:31-39). We remain certain of God’s steadfast presence and careful attention to all that is happening. Please join us in praying for those who are affected by this illness, as well as their caregivers and those who are working around the clock to minimize the impact of this virus. Please remain informed to local, state and national agencies as they give much needed updates on this developing ordeal. In Psalm 46, we are reminded that God is our refuge and strength. God is our ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, let us not fear, but with confidence, use this opportunity to be God’s Heart to this Community through our prayers and our care for one another.
This is a fast-moving event and we reserve the right to make additions and changes to this initial plan. Any revisions will be the result of following the latest recommendations of health and government officials. May we all embody a spirit of unity and cooperation during this period.
For the Sake of Christ’s Love
The Leadership Team of Reynoldsburg Church of Christ