Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine flu and our worship

In recent days I have received many inquiries about the H1N1 swine flu and any special measures we may take to protect ourselves in our worship services. I have monitored various health alerts, and I have consulted with the bishop's office and various colleagues in other churches about measures they are taking. Here is the best advice I can give you and your families:

1- If you or anyone in your family is feeling ill or has immune system issues, please stay home and consult your doctor.

2- If you are well, please come to church to pray for the sick and those who are anxious about becoming sick.

3- Please wash your hands frequently, and wash your hands before coming to church. Please cover your mouth if you need to cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands.

4- You do not need to shake hands during the passing of the peace. A wave of the hand or a nod is perfectly fine.

5- All of the clergy will be using hand sanitizer before distributing communion bread.

6- You do not have to receive wine from the common cup. You can always dip your bread in the cup, or cross your arms when the cup comes by and the chalice bearer will say a prayer (you don't have to shake your head).

Please keep those who are sick in your prayers, and do come to worship as you are able.


Anonymous said...

Good advice, very prudent... out, however with the practice of intinction - dipping bread in the cup - some studies have found that this passes on MORE germs than drinking from the cup...

The Rev. James Richardson said...

I'd be interested to know what studies you are citing. A reference would be helpful. Thanks.
-- Jim