Covid-19 Congregational Update
Wednesday March 18, 2020
Greetings LABC Family and Friends,
Last week, when I communicated with you, we had a lot of unknowns around Covid-19 (Coronavirus). As I write this note, the truth is that there are still many unknowns. I can only share what I do know.
First, we continue to emphasize that self-care and the care of those around you is of primary importance. The following continue to be the best practices for health in the midst of this pandemic:
Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.
Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.
Second, we have developed some next steps to continue the important ministry of LABC in the midst of this health situation.
Church offices are closed and will remain closed until we are given the guidance that they are safe to reopen.
We will provide weekly updates each Wednesday via email and on the LABC website.
We will be moving as many gatherings online as possible. This week we will be doing our Supper and Something via Zoom to see how it works using this technology.
Beginning this Sunday we will be putting a worship service online by Sunday at 10 a.m. This worship service will not be a “live” worship service as we feel it is unsafe to expect staff and volunteers, including those who are in compromised groups, to be together when best practices encourage social distancing and for people to stay home. We will adjust these worship offerings as we move through this season of unknowns.
We will encourage people to contact the church office and leave a message if you wish to reach staff. All staff can check their messages remotely. Further, you are invited to email or call staff directly if you need to speak to someone. Pastoral care will be offered remotely when possible.
There are still so many unknowns. We are all adapting as things move along and we continue to pray that our God of peace will rest upon all of us in this season. We pray for health and well-being for all of you, and give thanks for those who are searching for ways to respond to this pandemic. May God bless each of you, the medical professionals, and all of those who God has blessed with knowledge and commitment to make this world a better place in the midst of this season of challenge. I look forward to continuing to share with you all the Love of God our source of life and protector in all times.
Covid-19 Congregational Update
Friday March 13, 2020
We at LABC have been following very closely the development of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community, and we want to share the steps we are taking to keep everyone in our church family and broader community safe and healthy. Our response is Informed by the guidance of Monroe County Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Michael Mendoza.
As a result of this guidance, and out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending public gatherings, meetings and events that are currently scheduled in our building and that involve more than 15-20 people.
At present we are cancelling in-person worship (both our 10 a.m. multi-cultural worship service and 12:30 p.m. Myanmar language worship), Adult Education, and Sunday School for the next two Sundays (March 15th and 22nd).
During this time we will be developing other ways for us to worship together, primarily through online options. There will not be corporate worship this Sunday (March 15), but we intend to have something in place by March 22. Additional information and instructions will be forthcoming.
This is a developing situation and we pray that by our early actions, and the actions of others, we will be able to collectively slow the development of the virus. We pray for health and well-being for all who call LABC home, and for all in our broader community.
(Senior Pastor) (Chair - LABC Church Council)
Covid-19 Congregational Letter
Thursday March 12, 2020
LABC - Congregational Response to Coronavirus Situation
News of the Coronavirus seems to be everywhere these days. There have been reports of large gatherings being cancelled, quarantines, limiting travel, and other responses. So how do we as the body of Christ at LABC respond in the midst of all of this?
First of all, be sensible. Follow the guidelines that seem so very simple, but are what we all should be doing everyday – wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, eyes and nose, stay home if you are sick and try to keep a distance for others who are.
The question has been asked, what are we at LABC planning to do as things develop?
If you are sick, please stay home. As much as we would love to see you, we understand that the best way to fight this virus is to take care of yourself.
The Passing of the Peace has been on a lot of people’s minds. We will not be eliminating this powerful action from our worship, but please know that . You’re invited to use a verbal greeting: “Peace be with you.” Also, Elbow bumps work. And if you are sick, please do not offer your hand.
As we greet one another after worship, please don’t feel an obligation to shake hands. We can greet each other in many ways.
If it comes to having to cancel worship or other activities, most of us are still connected to each other via the internet. We will look into sharing videos, necessary meetings, educational opportunities and more, until we can all be together again. We will use our church cancellation protocol designed for snow emergencies to communicate any necessary cancellations to you all.
We offer these thoughts not out of fear, but to assure all who gather in this place that we are doing everything we can to minimize the spread of this virus. None of us knows what the upcoming weeks and months will bring with this virus, but we are God’s people. The world needs us as God’s hands, feet, voice, and compassion in the world. So let’s be the Church and not retreat in fear, but seek ways to serve, to heal, and to offer God’s love in the midst of this uncertain time.
Senior Pastor (LABC Church Council Moderator)