Saturday, September 12, 2009

A few words about the flu season and our common worship and the common cup

In recent days I have received 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; I have consulted with health experts, and discussed with colleagues in other churches measures they are taking.

Also, I highly recommend you read the swine flu guidelines published by the University of Virginia Medical Center. You can read these by clicking HERE.
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. If your children are sick, please keep them home.

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. Use hand sanitizer.

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, and you are welcome to dip your bread in the cup. Please do not let your fingers touch the wine. According to health experts, dipping your bread in the cup is not more sanitary than taking a sip from the cup. The cup is wiped and turned by the chalice bearer after each reception. If you do not want to receive wine, you can cross your arms when the cup comes by and the chalice bearer will say a prayer (please don't shake your head).

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


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good idea; no need for sacramental wine when you've got your hands on a bottle of alcohol that's 120 proof.
Which is why many people are discovering that non-alcohol hand sanitizers are not only equally effective, but safer to use.