Beloved friends, by now, I’m certain you have heard several opinions about helpful response to the virus spreading throughout the world. C-19, Covid, COVID-19, the Pandemic – by whatever name, this contagion has its own momentum and must be reckoned with.
Let’s respond boldly and set our goal at 0% illness within our small and mighty church community!
The facts seem to shimmy a little depending on whose opinion is currently in front of you.
This we do know – it is important for us to be careful and to be community.
1) It is crucial that you take care of yourself.
- Wash your hands – ideally, wash your hands with soap and water and RUB for at least 2 sing-throughs of Happy Birthday. (Which is similar in duration to the first verse of Amazing Grace or a quick run through of the Prayer That Jesus Taught Us.)
- Also, drink a whole lot of the wonderful, clean, potable water that we have flowing out of every faucet near us. Drink something every 15 minutes, if possible.
- Sleep sufficiently. It helps your body do what it needs to do to stay healthy.
- Let sunshine fall on your face for 10 or 15 minutes each day.
- Don’t touch other people’s stuff. Especially in stores. Especially in public places. Don’t even touch your own face, unless you have just washed your hands.
- Keep positive!! Don’t let yourself worry too much! Certainly, no panic. Stay in connection. Sing! Find something funny to watch or read. (Share GOOD news on Facebook.) Laughing is healthy. We have always known that we are not the ones spinning the Universe. Practice your prayers of hope and trust and courage….because…
2) It is crucial to take care of each other.
- When you cough, cover. Ideally, cover your mouth and your nose with a tissue and then throw that tissue into a waste receptacle immediately.
- When you are in public places, be particularly careful not to touch anything you don’t need to. Touch only what you are taking with you. Don’t sneeze on other people’s tomatoes.
- Call your friends.
- Call the people you know that cross your mind in a thought like, “I wonder how……?….. is doing with all of this.”
- Offer to do shopping tasks for at-risk folks.
- Be an ally, and do not support marginalization or targeting for any reason. We are well aware that there is always pressure to succumb to divisions. Although it is important that we keep physical distance from one another right now – at the same time, we cannot allow it to isolate us from spiritual community.
3) Here is our plan for the remainder of March at PPUMC.
After diligent information gathering from many church and public sources (including the MN Dept. of Health) and after conversation with our Lay Leader and our Communications Team, this is our choice of course of action at this time. It is not permanent. We will respond as we go and certainly reconsider as we enter April.
Our goal: We will do everything we can to flatten the curve of the spread of this virus in the building over which we have control.
- The Lazy Does It concert, benefitting Glendale Food Shelf, planned for tomorrow evening has been cancelled and may be rescheduled later this spring.
- The community meal Jake was hosting Wednesday evening, will be rescheduled.
- We are canceling the use of our building to all of the learning, rehearsing and social groups that rent space to meet here for the remainder of March.
- Our sister worshiping congregations (Compassion of Christ and Twin Cities Dignity) will be free to make the choice of whether or not to hold their small gatherings on Sundays.
- WE WILL HOLD WORSHIP SUNDAY, MARCH 15. Please use your good judgement about attending worship yourself on Sunday morning. We are working on a different plan to be in place for the remaining 2 Sundays of March. The Communications Team is working to post sermons on our website (beginning with the message of March 8) and are hoping to be able to live stream services as early as next week.
We will continue to share the latest information with you in a variety of ways, including the Friday Weekend Update, the PPUMC website and Facebook page, through email, snail mail, phone calls and more.
Most of all, I want you to know that if you are feeling worried or curious or just plain lonesome, please call me. 612-965-0178. Or text. Or email: email@example.com. I can talk churchy to you for a few minutes, if you like, or we can just “chew the fat.” We can pray together or simply chat about the latest news. We can tell jokes or share hotdish recipes or you can tell me your plan for rebuilding the carburetor in your ’54 Chevy. Or you can call somebody else! Just let’s don’t let this put us in separate corners.
Instead, let us be nimble. Flexible. Adaptable and Creative. Let’s be Courageous and Forgiving.
They’ll know us by how we love.
Pono like Jesus,