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Resources to Limit the Spread of Coronavirus at Church

Dear people of St. Mark’s,
As more cases of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, are identified in our region and across the country, our church can play an important role in sharing accurate information and educating people about practical measures to slow the progress of the virus. Please know that our staff is keeping a close eye on developments and working on ways that we too can help slow the progress of this virus and keep people healthy.
The best prevention measures include:
  • washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water for twenty seconds (or for as long as it takes to say The Lord’s Prayer)
  • using alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • refraining from touching your face, especially your nose, eyes and mouth, unless you have just washed your hands
  • staying home when you feel sick.
In addition, Bishop Lee suggests that all churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago observe the following guidelines:
  • Congregations should avoid intinction (the dipping of the host or bread into the chalice).
  • Hugging and handshaking are best avoided at the moment. Instead, worshipers can greet one another during the peace with waves, bows, or other signs that don’t involve physical contact.
We’ve also sent the water in the baptismal font at St. Mark’s “on sabbatical” for the duration.
Read more about the Diocese of Chicago and its resources to limit the spread of coronavirus here.
The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Columbia (Western Washington) is at the epicenter of the COVID outbreak in the US and offers these words:
….there is so much we have yet to know about this spread and about this virus. But, there are just as many things we do know. The most important of these things is this: Each person has it in their power and control to take measures so that they do not get the infection, nor spread it. And these have remained pretty constant. Wash hands (correctly, resources for your use on this can be found below), sanitize often, avoid bodily contact with others, stop shaking hands and hugging. For now, bow or gesture with your eyes, of course, do not share cups, utensils, or anything else that might share bodily fluids.
 
You can read his entire statement here.
Read more about precautions you can take to be prepared at home at Ready.gov.
Here is up-to-date information from the DuPage County Health Department
A PRAYER FOR QUIET CONFIDENCE
O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, p. 832

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