Love your neighbor: wash your hands; cover your coughs; stay home when sick; find creative ways to safely check in on people's spiritual and emotional health.
FROM CRAIG CARR, Washington Conference vice president for administration
As we approach the weekend, some of you have already communicated the decision to cancel worship and other activities at their churches this Sabbath. These churches are within the area of Seattle and King County in which the outbreak is most evident. For those of you who are still considering whether to remain open for worship or not, we highly recommend these decisions be made with the involvement of your local leaders as per the best guidance available in your specific area.
A resource page has been developed by our team here in the office which includes information specifically for schools, churches, and community health. Check it out. You can also see an updated list and some facts about conference schools that have closed.
The Public Health Insider site offers some guidance for those of you wondering whether to cancel services or not:
During this critical period in the outbreak, if you can feasibly avoid bringing large groups of people together, consider postponing events and gatherings.
If you can’t avoid bringing groups of people together:
- Urge anyone who is sick to not attend.
- Encourage those who are at higher risk for coronavirus to not attend.
- Try to find ways to give people more physical space so that they aren’t in close contact as much as possible.
- Encourage attendees to maintain good healthy habits, such as frequent hand washing.
- Clean surfaces frequently. Standard cleaning products are effective against COVID-19.
Should your church decide to close for Sabbath worship, consider a Facebook Live event or some other type of online interaction personalized to your congregation. You could record a short video from your phone and email it to members. Do something special and creative to connect.
Keep in mind that these guidelines (not requirements) that allow for each entity’s decisions about closures, postponements of activities, or other social distancing measures.
Basically, we want you to make the safest and healthiest decision as you know the needs of your community best.
We pray for God’s guidance and protection as we continue forward. Thank you for being a calming influence in leadership to your churches and communities.
Published March 5, 2020