March 12, 2020
Yesterday, our Bible Study group studied the scripture from Matthew 17 where Jesus invites Peter out of the boat to walk on the water. When Peter starts to sink into the sea, Jesus offers his hand saying, “Do not be afraid.”
As we deal with the news about the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), panic and anxiety may overwhelm us and we may begin to sink into the waters of Fear. Is it a worrisome time and I encourage us all to be careful with our health and to take care of physical health now, as always.
I want to assure you that, at Walnut United Methodist Church and Preschool, we are taking precautions and are on alert. Our Preschool has been diligent about children who appear to have sniffles, coughs or symptoms of illness and are sending home anyone who is not feeling well. Our facility is cleaned regularly and teachers and students are focusing on hand washing and good hygiene practices.
We will take additional precautions during this time including: additional cleaning / disinfecting of our church office, sanctuary and narthex and we beginning this Sunday, we will take additional steps to limit contact by eliminating the after worship greeting line and the Passing of the Peace, in an attempt to refrain from hugs and handshakes. Although the cleaning process has already begun, I will be cleaning the sanctuary surfaces on Saturday at 9:00AM and you are welcome to join me.
In addition, if you are not feeling well, please stay home from church. In an effort to make it possible for you to participate in worship while at home, I am investigating live-streaming services, posting a video of each service and/or posting an audio file of the service. It make take some time, but we are considering all possibilities if we need to take steps in that direction.
With the news of a COVID 19 case at Pomona Valley Hospital and the Governor’s advice to cancel gatherings of 250 people, I have reached out to the Bishop and our District Superintendent for guidance on how to proceed. Currently, we are following CDC advice in our preparation and precaution and so we will not be canceling any events, services or meetings at this time. Stay tuned for more information as guidance and instruction comes from the conference. We are monitoring the situation as it develops.
Peace be with you,