Friday, March 13, 2020


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
In talking with fellow clergy, there has been discussion of how to address corporate worship.  The situation is unfolding, and there are things we know and things we have yet to learn. A few things seem pretty clear.

-Covid-19 is transferred primarily by respiration.    That means all the hand sanitizer in the world will not stop someone from contracting the virus.  We will still reduce physical touch in an abundance of caution.   Please avoid contact during the Peace.    Communion will continued to be offered, but my current plan is that I will be washing my hands during the Peace and dipping the communion host into the wine and handing it to the communicant.    If you feel uncomfortable about taking communion, simply cross your arms over your chest and receive a verbal blessing.   I will not be shaking hands after service.

-Right now, our area is not being hit very hard.   But that can be expected to change.   This virus is a highly communicable virus.  On the positive side, over 80% who contract the virus will suffer zero to mild symptoms.   Ultimately we will all likely be exposed to the COVID-19 over the next 3-6 months.   For those who do contract the virus, they will be communicable but they may have no idea.   This is not unusual.    The common cold viruses (rhino viruses) are the same way—You may not think you have had a cold this past winter, but you likely did contract it, may have been communicable, but never really exhibited symptoms.   If you have a compromised system from age or health.   It is your personal decision to come to church.   Sermons will be available online.

-The main reason so many events are being closed is so that the life cycle of the virus may play out over time.  The healthcare system would be overwhelmed.    This is what has happened in Italy over the past few weeks.  


Follow SCDHEC & CDC websites for accurate information.   This is Lexington Medical Center’s sources of information and should be yours too.    I feel you can almost be guaranteed that sources that sound like they are creating panic or completely downplaying the issue are doing exactly that.   Above all, do not share questionable information via social media. 

Particularly when the situation seems more critical in our area, that may be a good time not to come to church.   That said, you may miss worship 4 weeks in a row, but remember your giving.   We can do a few weeks with low attendance, but we still have light bills to pay, etc. 

Reach out to our homebound by notes and phone calls.   Many facilities are already restricting visitation, so take the time to let these folks know they are not forgotten.

Particularly when the situation seems more critical in our area, reach out to your neighbors working in the health fields.   Take them a meal.  Offer to watch their children. Pray for them.  

By the time of the next Grapevine, this letter may be absolutely obsolete, prescient or woefully lacking.   So it’s a good time to remember our Lord’s words from the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 6:25-34   25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn't there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing?  26 Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you more valuable than they are?  27 And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life?  28 Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin.  29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these!  30 And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won't he clothe you even more, you people of little faith?  31 So then, don't worry saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?'  32 For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  33 But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  34 So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Lance

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