The Coronavirus has made the world a very weird place. People wearing face masks, March Madness played in empty arenas, travel to the United States being severely restricted, people in airplanes panicking when someone sneezes, stockpiling toilet paper, Italy is closed, the stock market dropped through the floor, passengers quarantined on cruise liners, the NBA suspending its season, stores selling out of alcohol gel, nursing homes closed to visitors, the list goes on and on…..
In the midst of all of this, churches are trying to decide the best course of action. Some are canceling worship. Others are modifying what happens on Sunday mornings.
Fortunately, if there’s one church that has an overabundance of doctors and medical experts, it’s ours.
Yesterday, I had very productive conversations with three doctors in our congregation. Based on their expertise, we are making the following changes.
First, if you are ill or have been around someone who is ill, do not come to church. Stay home and participate in worship by watching the livestream of the 11:00 Traditional Service: fumctemple.org/livestream or like our page on facebook: FUMC Temple
Second, if you are over sixty years old, have heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease, know that you are part of the vulnerable population that is most susceptible to the virus. Consider staying home.
Third, the offering plates will not be passed down the pews. Instead, at the conclusion of the service, as you leave the church, offering plates will be at the entrances. Simply drop your offering into the plate. That way you don’t touch anything.
Fourth, during the greeting at the beginning of worship, don’t shake hands or hug. It is not a sign of disrespect or being unfriendly. It’s about limiting personal contact in order to minimize the possibility of contaminating another person.
With these four modifications, we will do exactly what David said: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6)
The good news is that whether you stay home and watch the livestream of the service or attend on Sunday morning, either way, you will still hear the greatest sermon ever in the history of Christianity.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, in the midst of these confusing times, give clarity, wisdom, and the resolve to always do your will. Lord, I humbly ask that you guide our faith community in responding to the unanticipated needs brought about by the Coronavirus. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
If you are able, I hope to see you this Sunday. But if you stay home, remember my motto: ALWAYS SEND YOUR MONEY. fumctemple.org/give
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.