Dear Members & Friends of West Raleigh,
I wanted to write this week to let you know that West Raleigh church staff and Session have been thinking about how to prepare for and respond to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Having reviewed guidelines from the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and the Center for Disease Control, we are adopting the following precautions –
- The peace of Christ knows no boundaries, and, although touch is one important reminder of God’s presence, it is not the only way to show and share in Christ’s peace. During this season of heightened alert to viral infection, we will share the Peace of Christ without touching. You can use your eyes to express connection and offer your hands in prayer or with the sign of peace.
- Tissues will be placed in each pew.
- We are trying procure enough hand sanitizer to place in high traffic areas of the church, but it has been hard to find this week. If you have enough to share with the church, please contact the church office.
- Bathrooms, handrails, & doorknobs will be disinfected 3 times each week.
- Caregivers in the nursery will disinfect toys each week.
- We will continue to monitor directives from the Division of Public Health of the NC Department of Health and Human Services and from Wake County Public Health Officials.
In closing, I wanted to share three requests that Rev. Christopher Edmonston made of the members of friends of White Memorial. His requests reflect the unique response of a Christian community. May it be so among us to –
- Please pray. Prayer settles hearts, gives direction, creates empathy, and can even help outcomes be changed. Pray for those who are sick. Pray for those who live in places with no access to health care. Pray for public health officials who are so very strained.
- Let us try to increase our courage. Fear muddles everything. A virus which is a clear cause for concern and commands response is not automatically a cause for panic. There is a gulf between expressing caution and thrashing about in fear.
- Be a good neighbor. If you know people who are especially prone or susceptible, or if people that you know self-isolate or are quarantined in the weeks to come, be a friend and reach out to them with whatever technology you may be able to use. The support of friends and loved ones is crucial to any recovery.
God’s grace and peace be with you all,