Dear Friends in Christ,
I have been reading the CDC website daily, along with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare website. I have consulted with our executive committee. I do not know if there is a perfect decision. As was cited in a previous email, the CDC states that “Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.” The CDC site also states that when the risk is minimal to moderate (and we now have a confirmed case in Idaho) “for organizations that serve high-risk populations, cancel gatherings of more than 10 people.” We are cancelling worship and midweek prayer through March 29.
So, if you need tips on Personal Preparedness (which will limit the spread of COVID-19), here they are (again from the CDC):
- Washing hands with soap and water, frequently
- Don’t touch your face (mouth, nose, eyes)
- Covering coughs and sneezes with tissues and elbows, and washing hands afterwards
- Staying away from others who are ill
- Ordering a month’s supply of medications
- Avoid spaces where crowds gather, when possible
- Talk to your doctor about possibly postponing non-urgent trips to the doctor if you are in a high risk health group
(I could find nothing on the CDC site about stocking up on toilet paper, but this is all new so I am trying not to judge)
Our plan as a community of faith:
- Post the Prayer of the Day, Scripture Passages, Pastor’s Sermon on Pastor Meggan’s blog: megganmanlove.com. Please subscribe to this blog or bookmark it.
- Try streaming worship on Facebook live via our congregation’s Facebook page (10am Sunday mornings).
- If you are on a committee or team or part of a study group, please get ready to meet electronically via Zoom (you can call in with your phone or use your computer if you have a webcam).
- Deposit financial donations every Monday morning. We will still have bills to pay.
- Communicate with all of you via email. If you check your email weekly, we would love for you to begin checking it daily.
- Keep the office open. For now, office hours will stay the same.
- We will stay connected! I am fully committed to this. I am your primary contact (208-318-4845). If you do not reach me, please contact a church council member. They are listed on our website: nampatrinity.org. If you need a new directory, call or email Bob Cola and he will set you up.
This is one of the hardest messages I think I have ever written. It is easier to cancel worship when there is a blizzard. There were tears streaming down my face as I started typing because I was so excited about out Lent Sunday Worship and our Midweek Series. Furthermore, this could be the wrong decision, and I hate being wrong. But I also love our congregation and the individuals that make it up. This decision was not made in a vacuum, as I hope to have demonstrated.
If you want more information:
ID Health and Welfare https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov
Northwest Intermountain Synod https://nwimsynod.org