Dear St John’s Friends and Members,
Based on the extensive news coverage, you are all aware of the current health issues with the COVID19 Corona Virus. Between the World Health Organization’s declaration of a Pandemic and the US Governments response to attempt to contain the virus, organizations at the state and local level are attempting to take steps to slow down the spread of the virus with the intent to subside transmission of the disease. Today, Governor DeWine banned public gatherings of 100 people or more, although he did exempt churches from his executive order.
There are many things we know about this virus, including that it tends to cause pneumonia complications at a greater rate for folks over age 60 if they contract the virus. We all are well aware that our congregation has many members in this age group, and the CDC is recommending our elder population to minimize public interactions for the next 2-4 weeks.
I think of our Church as a sanctuary from the turmoil of the outside world. However, given the uncertainty of the magnitude of infected people, out of an abundance of caution Pastor and I have decided to SUSPEND Sunday Church Services until Palm Sunday (5 April). Furthermore, we are cancelling the remainder of the Wednesday soup meetings for the rest of lent. We are taking this action to buy time, to find out if cases appear and propagate in Montgomery County, and to give time for health officials to get a handle on how successful their containment efforts will be.
We will communicate further with the congregation should further services should be cancelled, but for right now, we ask you to spend some Sunday quiet time in private family study of the Bible’s description of holy week. Please offer prayers for those who do contract the virus as well as the overworked hospital Doctors and Nurses who are on the front line of this health issue.
This too shall pass. Virus or not, we are still blessed by the grace of God, and need to support one another in this time of national turmoil.
Yours in Christ,