A Message to the people of Trinity UM Church in McMurray:
As our nation and other nations respond to the recent news that the COVID-19 virus continues to spread at an alarming rate, I would like to share a few thoughts with you. As many of you know, we at Trinity try to exercise the dual approach of combining prayer with action. I recommend the same here. Please pray for our world, and specifically for those who have been infected with this virus, as well as for the many who are impacted, directly or non-directly. In addition to praying, please take appropriate action. Check on those who are sick, are at extra risk, or who may be lonely or isolated during this time. But consider carefully whether a visit is appropriate, or if it would be better to call or send a card. I know many area rest homes are asking people not to visit unless absolutely necessary.
Here are some additional common sense guidelines recommended by Dr. Jessica Price, who serves on our Conference’s Abundant Health Team:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
- Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places (elevator buttons, door handles, handrails). Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something, and wash your hands after.
- Stay home when you are sick and for 24 hours after you no longer have a fever.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
At this time, we are still planning to worship together at 9:30 and 11 am this Sunday, until the Bishop, CDC, or other authorities tell us otherwise, or we deem it unsafe to do so. That said, if you are in an at-risk category or do not feel comfortable going out, please feel free to stay home. We are taking some precautionary measures at Trinity, including (temporarily) no longer passing the offering plate (you will have the opportunity to give your offering as you exit the sanctuary, or via online/egiving), encouraging social distancing, and foregoing the sharing of Holy Communion, as troubling as that is.
We encourage you to check the website or TUMC Facebook for other updates. Please also feel free to reach out to me as your pastor if you have questions, concerns, or ministry needs.
Finally, let us continue in ministry wherever we are, following the example of Jesus who came not to be served, but to serve.