Pray, Prepare and Plan: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

[fa icon="calendar"] March 12, 2020 / by Wayne Spriggs

Washing handsAs communities around the world are taking precautions to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), this letter is written to assist you in preparing a response to the outbreak in your own churches and communities.

Currently, we are not aware of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 either in any of our district churches or on the campus of Simpson University.  Some of you may be facing the potential of government officials in your community requesting restrictions on public gatherings. These may affect the ministries of your church.

In the event that your community issues restrictions on public gatherings we recommend you develop contingency plans to both communicate with your congregation, and to continue providing worship experiences not held in public spaces. The CPD team stands by ready to assist you in developing your contingency plans. Please feel free to reach out to us by contacting our office either by phone at 530-662-2500, or email us.

Update for California organizations from the State of CA:

March 11, 2020 - California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California public health officials this evening issued an updated policy on gatherings to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19. The state’s public health experts have determined that gatherings should be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March. Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people, while smaller events can proceed only if the organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person. Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines.
Read more here>>

Additionally we would encourage you to make your congregation aware of the steps you will be taking to prevent the spread of infectious diseases including but not limited to:

  • Thoroughly cleaning regularly touched surfaces, including nursery and children’s toys, etc
  • Providing hand sanitizer as people enter your worship facility
  • Asking those with cold or other potentially contagious symptoms to excuse themselves from worship and public events in your church until the current outbreak passes
  • Encouraging the cessation of hand shaking or other physical contact in public spaces.  Some churches are encouraging fist and elbow bumps as alternates
  • You may want to consider suspending the Lord’s Supper until the outbreak ceases.  If you continue with the Lord’s Supper common trays of bread, and open communion cups should be discouraged

Communicating with your congregation and providing opportunities to continue financially supporting your ministry during the COVID-19 outbreak are important. If your church does not already have an online giving and communication tool, the following resource is available from the National Office of The Christian and Missionary Alliance:

Now more than ever, an app on your church website is necessary. The virus warnings and restrictions will probably increase in the near future. If that happens, attendance will be impacted and everything from sermon delivery to giving will be affected.  The tithe.ly app will help your congregation stay connected in both of these ways and more.

The app is recommended by the National Office of the C&MA. Go to this link (https://get.tithe.ly/the-alliance) to see the many features of this app. Including:

⋅ Listen to sermons and podcasts on the go.
⋅ Stay up to date w/ events and weekly info.
⋅ Give in app or by text via Tithe.ly.
⋅ Schedule automated recurring gifts.
⋅ Receive push notes for important info.
⋅ Find service times and locations.
⋅ Contact ministry staff and pastors.
⋅ Receive Alliance info, news, and updates.
⋅ Optionally add Bible reading, notes, and streaming.


Finally, please remind your congregations that God is still in control, that we need not panic, but rather using wisdom we take seriously the need to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.   Let’s continue in prayer for one another, especially for those vulnerable in our midst.

 

Topics: News