A Message about Coronavirus

March 4, 2020

Friends in Faith at First Presbyterian –   Your church staff has been thinking and praying about how the spread of the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) might affect our church family and our operation as a church campus. These are the steps that we are taking to be safe and prepared:  

  1. We will follow all directions from the Division of Public Health and Human Services and from Mecklenburg County Public Health officials. While unlikely, if they should ask churches to abstain from public worship, we will be prepared to broadcast and stream our worship services. The recommendations of public health officials may also impact things beyond worship, such as mission trips or fellowship events.
  2. Our schools—the Child Development Center and the Weekday School—will follow and/or mirror the directives of the Division of Child Development, Department of Health and Human Resources. The schools will also take into consideration the directives of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.
  3. Our facilities staff will continue its commitment to having the church campus be a clean and hygienic environment. They will also ensure that we have extra quantities of hand sanitizer in public places that are heavily trafficked.
  4. We are preparing, if necessary, to make adjustments to our worship liturgy to reflect suggestions by local health professionals and organizations such as Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. An example of this might include how we serve the Lord’s Supper and the ways we greet each other.
  5. We will remain committed to providing pastoral care in the midst of any escalating situation.

There is a fine line between being prepared and being alarmist. We are prepared. I also would like to ask that you:

  1. Pray. Pray for patients, doctors, nurses, researchers, and public health officials. Prayer settles the heart and creates empathy. It also reminds us that God is in control.
  2. Breathe. The threat of COVID-19 is real, but it is also low. Fear can turn an attitude of caution into one of panic. What we need is caution.
  3. Practice neighborliness. Wash your hands. Stay home if you are sick. If you know people who are isolated or alone or quarantined, reach out to them by phone or email and let them know they are loved.

  May God bless those who are affected and afraid, and may we embody the love and grace of Christ in these times.  

The Reverend Pen Peery