Coronavirus and Churches.
The pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19) now affects gatherings of people worldwide. Churches are adapting to this challenge.
PASTORAL AND CONNECTION CARE
Riverlife Baptist Church
Here is relevant information from Riverlife Baptist Church, one of the larger churches in Brisbane, Australia. You may be able to use or adapt this for your church congregation.
You have probably been following along with the developing news and growing concerns of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a church family, we do not want to partner with any fear but simply practice good hygiene and safety to minimize the risk to our community. Please read the following carefully.
As in any cold or flu season, I want to encourage you to stay home from Sunday gatherings or other church-related events throughout the week if you, your family members or roommates are experiencing any cold or flu symptoms (fever, persistent cough, headache, chills or unexplained rash). Please seek medical attention if you are experiencing these symptoms.
If you have recently travelled to any high-risk countries (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Hong Kong or Japan as currently identified by the World Health Organisation and Australian Government Department of Health), please follow the recommended guidelines here and stay home for a couple of Sundays (14 days).
If you are planning on attending regular activities, please ensure you wash your hands with soap, make use of hand sanitizer stations, cough into your sleeve, sneeze into a tissue and put any tissues or waste in the bins provided. Simple, but very helpful!
We post the sermon to our weekly messages podcast here and the video feed on our website here and encourage you to access the teaching from home if you are unable to join us in person. You might also like to take advantage of our Spotify playlists here for some worship playlists we have collated.
We are also taking extra precautions to keep our building sanitary for everyone who will worship with us in person this weekend and in the coming weeks and have also reviewed some of our ministry guidelines to include the following:
- We are stocked up on hand soap and hand sanitizer (located at several stations).
- We are sanitizing surfaces between gatherings (including Kids Check-in Kiosks).
- Volunteers, as always, please follow cleanliness and safety procedures in our Children’s Ministry and be even more diligent during this time.
- Our friendly Host Teams and Greeters will be welcoming you with a smile and a wave this week rather than a handshake.
- Our Ministry Teams (both in service and at special events including Encounter) will adjust prayer ministry protocols to be mindful of personal space and close contact.
In faith, we continue to uphold those directly affected by this virus in prayer and ask that God would release wisdom to our leaders, strategies to our health professionals and healing to those experiencing symptoms.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advice from Queensland Baptists
Other adaptions could include following the Jewish tradition of a treasury or offering box at the entrance, and communion available on designated tables.
How the Early Church handled epidemics
A quote from that eBook:
Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, wrote about the plague in the Roman Empire:
How suitable, how necessary it is that this pestilence, which seems horrible and deadly, searches out the justice of each and everyone and examines the minds of the human race;
whether the well care for the sick,
whether relatives dutifully love their kinsmen as they should,
whether masters show compassion for their ailing slaves,
whether physicians do not desert the afflicted.
Plagues in the Roman Empire, and currently in many countries, also became times of evangelism and revival.
See more information about revival such as the Moravian Revival among refugees which sparked the Evangelical Awakening in Europe and America.
Revival Blogs Links:
See also Revivals Index
See also Revival Blogs
See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals