Different churches are doing different things in response to the coronavirus. All of us are trying to balance the need to be an actively present community of faith with the need to take all appropriate measures for public health and safety, and I don’t know of anyone who feels confident that they’re doing the exact right thing right now. There are just too many unknowns.

So wherever you are, and however your church is responding, please remember your community leaders in your prayers, and remember to look out for those most in need in your congregations.

This is how we’ve communicated a response to our congregation for now.

Dear Central Family,

As of now, Central Baptist is not making any major adjustments to our weekly schedule. We intend for worship, Bible study, mid-week activities, and all ministries of the church to continue uninterrupted unless conditions change substantially or we receive alternative guidance from public health authorities.

We are, however, asking that you help us make the following adjustments to our normal routine.

  1. As we gather on the church campus, please avoid unnecessary personal contact and do all you can to maintain appropriate distances from one another.
  2. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
  3. If you feel unwell, or have a cough or a cold, please stay home.
  4. Our ministers will be cutting back on pastoral care visits to hospitals, nursing homes, and senior living facilities. We will maintain contact in other ways. We ask that our members please do the same. The last thing we want to do is to introduce a potentially serious illness to a particularly vulnerable population.
  5. We have a plan in place to continue serving weekly lunches through Feeding Our Friends while taking appropriate precautions both for our volunteers and those they serve.

We are aware that some in our congregation have already begun avoiding large gatherings, including church, on the advice of their doctors or out of an abundance of caution. Having consulted with doctors ourselves, we’ve also been told that the best guidance right now is for those with underlying respiratory conditions, or who know they are part of a particularly vulnerable group, to avoid public gatherings for the time being.

We don’t want to tell anyone to stay away from church, but we do want all of our members to take appropriate precautions as all of us work together to do what is best for our community.

If additional precautionary measures become necessary, we’ll let you know how the church is responding as soon as possible. Please remember each other and our collective health in your prayers. I’ll be praying for God to use our church as a calming and reassuring presence in the midst of growing concern now and in the days to come.

Yours in Christ,