Saint John’s response to Coronavirus
UPDATE (4/23/2020): Mary Waller has produced a great Zoom tutorial you can see here.
UPDATE (3/8/2020): Out of an abundance of caution, St. John's has decided to suspend the lunch after the Music at Midday performance until further notice.
This week, federal health officials urged Americans to begin preparing for the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. According to the Oklahoma State Department ofHealth there are two suspected cases in Oklahoma presently, and there are three more cases under investigation. What can we at Saint John's Church do to prepare and to help slow the progress of the virus if it should spread to the wider population?
First, educate yourself. Episcopal Relief and Development has reliable resources to help you do that. Go to episcopalrelief.org and click on "What we do." Then follow the links to "Faith based response to epidemics."
Second, to help limit the spread of coronavirus please take these common sense steps now:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water, including after coughing, sneezing, handling diapers, preparing food or using the bathroom.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Stay home when you feel sick.
As a parish we can take several common sense steps to limit the spread of illness if the virus makes its way to our region:
- When we are celebrating the Eucharist or distributing the elements, clergy will use hand sanitizer visibly, and there will be hand sanitizer available for you to use.
- Avoid dipping the host into the chalice, which is called intinction. If you are uncomfortable receiving from the cup, know that when you receive the host alone you are receiving the "fullness of the sacrament."
- Pass the peace with a nod and a smile, a fist bump, an elbow tap, or another sign that avoids skin to skin contact.
- Encourage people who are ill to stay home and include them in your prayers.
- And, of course, during coffee hour and at all times when we are sharing food know that Amanda is seeing to it that all volunteers are washing their hands and handling food with plastic gloves or utensils.
If there are confirmed coronavirus cases in our region we will implement further additional guidelines as directed by the bishop's office. We will monitor our local news for potential local school closings to prevent the spread of the virus. Should that happen we will likely cancel in-person meetings and worship and replace them, where possible, with online gatherings and live-stream liturgies.
Should you have questions, please contact Fr. Sam and members of the vestry and we will be more than happy to respond to your concerns.