Dear South Durham Church Family and Friends,
As I’m sure you know, COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has made its way to our community. On Tuesday, our Governor declared a state of emergency for North Carolina as the number of cases continues to rise. We want to communicate the preventative measures South Durham Church is taking to reduce the spread of illnesses at church services and activities.
What South Durham Church Is Doing
Adding Hand Sanitizer Stations. On Sundays, we will add three additional hand sanitizer locations. They will be available in the lobby, at the kid’s check-in table, and at the back of the sanctuary. All in attendance are welcome to wash their hands with soap and water in the bathrooms at any time.
Making Changes to Communion. We will prepare Communion differently until the spread of COVID-19 decreases. For those receiving communion, the bread will be placed in a cup, and then the juice cup will be stacked inside that cup. When you come down front, you will receive one stack of two cups—the juice on top, with the bread in a cup underneath. This is to reduce the possibility of spreading germs while we receive this ordinance together as one body in Christ.
Making Changes to the Offering. For the time being, we will not be passing the offering plates. We will still pray over our gifts since this is an important part of our worship together as a church family. Offerings may be given any time on Sunday in the black box on the table in the back of the sanctuary.
Adding Sanitizing Measures. We will be wiping down door knobs, communion trays, and other high-touch areas with sanitizing wipes before the service.
Monitoring the Situation. Please know that we are monitoring the situation daily and we are consulting with other churches and organizations, including following recommendations from the Center for Disease Control. We will follow precautionary best practices to keep all our members and visitors healthy while at church and at church-related activities. Additionally, since we are guests in Christ the King’s building, we are also in contact with their staff to ensure open conversation regarding any possible exposure to COVID-19.
Maintaining Current Sanitary Practices.
Greeters will continue holding doors to reduce the amount of surfaces needing to be touched by members and guests. For the time being, greeters will not be initiating handshakes.
In SoDu Kids, childcare workers provide a sanitary environment for children by ensuring children use hand sanitizer before snack and by wiping down all surfaces and toys that have come into contact with children.
If the spread of the virus increases rapidly in North Carolina, South Durham Church will take additional steps as necessary and we will communicate them as quickly and effectively as possible to our members and guests.
What We Can Do Together
Use hand sanitizer before and after physical contact. Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 second. Ensure children frequently use hand sanitizer.
Cough and sneeze into your elbow rather than your hand. When using a tissue, throw it out immediately.
Reduce physical touch. Fist-bump or elbow-bump instead of shaking hands or giving hugs. While it may feel silly, providing alternative options to physical contact is one way we can all help reduce the spread of germs while continuing to be connected to each other in the family of God.
Stay home when you and/or your child(ren) have symptoms. Please let us know if you are sick or if you have contracted COVID-19. Not only do we have a civic responsibility for public health, but the church also has a Christian responsibility for caring for those who are sick (James 5:14). Ministry volunteers experiencing symptoms should contact the appropriate Ministry Team Leader and ask for support in the relevant channel in the Slack app.
The Apostle Paul tells us, “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Thank you for doing your part to help us ensure as best we can that all of our members, attenders, and guests stay well.
How We Respond as Christians
It is in times like these that we are especially reminded that we live in a fallen world, stained by sin. We need the salvation Jesus Christ alone has made possible in his work on the cross. If we are in Christ, we can look forward to the New Heavens and New Earth, where pain, sickness, and death will be no more (Revelation 21:4)!
On this day, as we await that day, we have the certain hope that neither death nor life, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38).
We have an opportunity to share this hope as we talk about the coronavirus with concerned family and friends. Continue to press on in prayer for those affected by COVID-19, and pray that we would be a light in the darkness (Matt 5:14-16).
We look forward to worshiping our resurrected Lord with you Sunday,
Greg, Donnie, and Adam
South Durham Church