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Healthy Church Plan

Healthy Church Plan

by Jim Wishmyer on March 11, 2020

LUMC Healthy Church Plan

Sisters and brothers, we are all aware by now of the threat posed by the COVID-19 Coronavirus to public health.  In addition, we are still in the midst of the annual flu season.  All of us – your church leadership included – want to stay healthy; we want to be safe. So please read on.

The church staff, our Ministry Leadership Team, and I have come up with the following Healthy Church Plan in order to keep all of us safe and healthy.  We are not health experts but we are relying on the best available information, and will update this as a work in progress.

Should a person who has attended LUMC be confirmed positive for COVID-19, please let us know. Be assured that we will follow the guidelines of the CDC, Virginia Department of Health, and Loudoun County Health with respect to appropriate notification. We encourage all to make sure your phone/email address is accurate and current in our church office to receive timely notices.

Immediate Steps:

  1. If you are sick with a respiratory or gastrointestinal virus, please stay home. In some cases, if a member of your family is sick, it is also best to stay home. If you have a protracted illness, please let us know to be praying for you and to offer any other assistance.
  1. Wash your hands frequently, scrubbing them with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing. If in a public restroom, use a paper towel after washing to turn off faucets and open doors.
  1. LUMC has hand sanitizer at our entrances. Please make use of this upon entering the building.

  2. LUMC is regularly going through the building to disinfect commonly touched surfaces – handrails on the stairs, doorknobs, etc., Monday through Friday.  
  1. Groups that meet in our buildings are encouraged to wipe down tables, chairs, doorknobs, etc., after their meeting. We are doing our best to keep  sanitizing wipes/sprays available for meeting spaces.  Consider using Zoom or Citrix to hold virtual meetings.

  2. Sunday worship: Communion servers are washing their hands, and using hand sanitizer, just prior to handling the Communion elements. Those who do our Communion setup are doing the same.

  3. Sunday worship: Communion will make use of plastic disposable cups for the grape juice, instead of the common chalice. The bread will be handed to you; please do not reach for it. Receive the bread with your hands folded flat on each other, palms up. The small communion cup will be placed before you on a stand for you to pick up.

  4. Sunday worship: In an abundance of caution, we will temporarily discontinue Passing the Peace in worship.

  5. Sunday hospitality in Wesley: Taking appropriate caution, we will be serving the snack food in paper muffin holders.
  1. Dinner Church: A server with gloved hands will serve the sandwiches,  water, etc. The Communion bread will already be broken in individual pieces by one of our set-up crew, again with gloved hands. No more table grapes.
  1. Home: We may have to live through a temporary quarantine, likely two weeks at least. All recommend having sufficient food, bottled water (one gallon per person per day), over-the-counter and prescription medications, etc., and sanitizing wipes, to last 14 days. See CDC recommendations. Also, reach out to your neighbors – especially any elderly.

Next Steps:

In the event that COVID-19 enters our community with CDC confirmed cases, we will:

  1. Offer the communion bread only. Various options are being considered, including just giving a spoken blessing w/o bread and juice.
  1. Consider cancelling large, non-worship gatherings.
  1. Eliminate refreshments temporarily.

If…:   If the COVID-19 virus becomes an epidemic in our area, and CDC, the Virginia Dept. of Health, or the Loudoun County Health Dept. recommends closing schools and other public gatherings, we will cancel meetings, groups, and public worship. We are exploring options for providing a Sunday morning worship/sermon connection via livestream on a platform such as Facebook Live or similar. 

And…  Let’s make sure to keep our lines of communication and caring open. If you become sick, please reach out to me, Rev. Heather Wray, and friends in the congregation. If you notice someone missing from worship, please take the initiative to reach out to them to see if they are well – or not – and let us know.  Continue to share prayer concerns via our prayer chain by simply sending an email to .

For accurate information. COVID-19 updates, prevention, and precaution, visit the website links at the end of this message.

Let’s continue to keep the lines of communication open. If you have questions, fears, concerns, or timely information to share, please do not hesitate to call or email me, Rev. Heather Wray, or our church office.  Also, this is a great opportunity to reach out to your neighbors in order to support one another and to demonstrate Christ’s love and caring. Together, we will see this through!

Finally, keep one another, our health care workers, our public officials, and all those who are sick in your prayers. Grace and peace to you all through our Lord Jesus Christ! 

Rev. Jim Wishmyer


Links:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html .

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet.pdf

http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/

https://www.loudoun.gov/5307/Coronavirus

https://www.lcps.org/Page/227421

https://www.lcps.org/cms/lib/VA01000195/Centricity/Domain/61/LC%20Health%20Department%20COVID%20School%20Board%20Briefing%20March%2010%202020.pdf

Tags: church, christian, downtown, virginia, united methodist church, methodist, christian church, leesburg, coronavirus, covid19

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