In a news release earlier today, a doctor spoke about how this was a time not to be alarmist or naive, but smart... as we always should be. Those are some really good words of advice. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is grabbing our attention, and it should. But what is our response? As people of faith, our first response should be prayer - praying for victims, medical personnel, first responders and those who are frightened. From there, we need to reach deep into our historic faith where Christians were the presence of calm when the world was anxious; Christians were offering words of peace when everyone was expecting the worst; Christians were the announcers of Good News when the world seemed to have only Bad News. This is not to encourage a proverbial head in the sand response, but to remember first and foremost who we are. I also want to add that we are those who are thankful that God gifted us with a brain that we are encouraged to use. There is so much misinformation already on the web and making its way to your email box and being spewed across the airways. Don’t become a participant in what is a waste of your good energy and time. Go to the Harris County Health Department’s website or CDC’s website.
So what does this mean practically for Cypress Creek Christian Church? These are the basics recommended by professionals:
1. Stay home if you are not feeling well; 2. Wash your hands well and more frequently than usual; 3. Cover your cough/sneeze; 4. Try to avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose; 5. Reduce physical contact like handshaking.
On Sunday, we are asking the congregation to make some modifications. Some of these are precautions for this unique moment in time, while others are good reminders of what we should always be doing.
1. Be vigilant in the five recommendations above; 2. Door Greeters are going to be discouraged from shaking hands at the doors; 3. During our Greeting Time in Worship, we will invite people to wave, smile, bow or some other non-touch form of acknowledgement; 4. At the Close of the Service, we will not join hands but lift them in the form of a blessing; 5. Communion will change as well - -The juice will be in individual cups in trays upfront (or brought to the back row); -The bread will be placed in your hand with the use of tongs by one of our servers who will use antibacterial gel prior to communion.
We are making these modifications because they make sense right now, not because we are reactionary. We hope it might help a few who were feeling a little nervous about coming to church, maybe those who have a compromised immune system. As the weeks progress, medical professionals might make other recommendations and we will determine how best to implement them.