I want to share with you Steamboat Island’s Church’s current response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Washington State. As of Sunday March 8, we are still planning to gather together for our normal activities while taking extra precautionary measures.
We are actively monitoring the Thurston County Public Health Department website for up to date information regarding the virus in Thurston County as well as the CDC website and current recommendations from our Bishop.
Based on the current situation in Thurston County (no known cases at this point in time) we will meet for Dinner Church this evening. We believe that gathering in community is a part of our spiritual, emotional, and physical well being. We are also concerned about those who are most vulnerable to this virus and ask that if you are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have possible been exposed to it that you choose to stay home.
If you.are at all worried about your health, if you are in a group that is especially vulnerable to COVID-19, or you are feeling ill, please stay home. We honor your decision to make choices that are best for you and your family.
In order to honor people who chose to stay at home, we will be live streaming our sermon this evening on Facebook. If you cannot view the sermon on Facebook please reach out to me and I will make the resource available to you. Also, if you are feeling anxious, isolated, or fearful, please reach out to me. We can have a pastoral visit over the phone.
At our gathering tonight we will implement the following safety measures:
*We will greet each other with elbow bumps instead of hugs or handshakes.
*We will provide hand sanitizer to use before the meal and at any point you need it during worship.
*We will celebrate Holy Communion using small pieces of bread and individual cups. We will take precaution in the preparation and serving of the elements. If you are not comfortable taking Holy Communion you may still come through the line for a blessing. Everyone is invited to participate only as they feel comfortable.
*Hand washing will be a priority.
Finally, friends, I ask that you join me in praying for our community and those around the world who are feeling the impact of this virus. Please pray for those who are sick, who have died, for families who are grieving, for those who are waiting for testing, for those who are vulnerable, and for those gripped by anxiety during these uncertain times. If I can be in prayer with you, please reach out to me.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will not hesitate to cancel upcoming events if that is recommended in our area.
My prayers are with each of you. May God’s grace and love surround you now and always.
Grace and peace,