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PastorMatt

Coronavirus - Is your church taking any measures?

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With this disease spreading fast the Christian Law Association posted the following a week ago.

https://christianlaw.org/pray-for-healing-keep-fervently-sharing-the-gospel/

Mega churches are cancelling services to help stop the spread of the Coroana virus. Has anyone's church here done anything, and is there a panic in your church/community about all of this?

Me being outside NYC, everyone is in a panic. 

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Here in Taiwan, when the virus first reared its head in China, the government of Taiwan was quick to recognize the threat. There was a bit of panic in the country at first, but the government was swift to bring it to a halt. They did so by enacting certain measures against panic buying and the spread of mis-information. They have daily public informational meetings to keep the citizens informed, certain things like masks and hand sanitizer are regulated (to prevent panic buying and price gouging), hospitals and clinics are not closed but have increased precautions, schools closed just until they were all completely sanitized then reopened with precautions such as everyone entering must have temperature taken, etc. So far people have settled down and there is no panic, just practical common sense in the face of a world-wide epidemic. 

The church I attend has hand sanitizer at the entrance and everyone must use it, but we don't require anyone to wear a mask (as other churches are requiring), hand shaking wasn't really common to begin with and now it's stopped completely, and just overall common sense is applied: if you're sick, stay home (regardless of type/severity of sickness, low immunity puts them at risk for other issues as well, this should be common sense whether or not there's an epidemic going on).  

 

 

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No precautions, other than continuing to encourage the washing of hands. We normally shake hands at the beginning of the main service, but have stopped that for now as well. We have a small church, and folks are pretty good about staying home when not well.

I've been home with a cold (did anyone know that this time of year, it's a coronavirus?...) I have to be better by Saturday because we have to head over to Everett for some testing for hubs. I'm kind of surprised they haven't cancelled it, since schools are closing and businesses are as well.

There is at this time only one case of the virus here on the peninsula. He contracted it while in Seattle.  

We are, however, in the midst of a buying panic. Folks are just getting nuts!

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It's all out panic here. All schools (elementary through college) are closed, all large activity meetings are cancelled as well as all spring athletic activities. Now so I'm just waiting for our governor to say no meeting at church as well. We do have some very faithful bus kids that their parents will not allow them to leave the house  including going to church.

Our local hospital has set up barriers all around the building with tents and stuff to test people in the parking lots. Looks like something out of the movies.

I went to the grocery store last night to pick up a couple of small things for my wife, and I never seen so people in a store in my life and many had multiple carts. We have over 10 large grocery stores within 5 radius miles and I hear they all were that way. No toilet paper to be found. 

We had a decent attendance last night for Bible study, I pray it stays the same for Sunday. 

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My daughter just called me. She is a student at Vision Baptist College in NJ, and the state of NJ is in a shut down and she has to come home. Solid Rock Baptist Church is not allowed to hold church services right now either. 

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6 minutes ago, Salyan said:

Not allowed, eh? That right there concerns me a whole lot more than any health danger. Our governments are using this as an excuse to test severe restriction of liberties, and the people are letting them. 

Concerns me too. They are considered a large church church (my guess is over 1,000) so the state of NJ does not want them meeting.

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Nothing more than usual-expect people to wash their hands, stay home if sick. But in a community of 800, 40 miles from town one way, 60 miles the other way, not too concerned about it here. Take your vitamins, keep clean, stay home if sick and stop letting the spirit of fear rule-is God's hand shortened, that it cannot save from the Corona virus?

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I expect our church will be having services as normal. I didn't get to church last Sunday, or Tuesday as I had a sore throat, cough and sneezing.  We are a small church with between 30 and 40 attending Sunday morning and evening services.

The youth club tonight went ahead as usual.

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13 hours ago, PastorMatt said:

My daughter just called me. She is a student at Vision Baptist College in NJ, and the state of NJ is in a shut down and she has to come home. Solid Rock Baptist Church is not allowed to hold church services right now either. 

I'm curious as to who said they aren't "allowed" to hold services. As far as I can see, the NJ dept of health is only recommending the cancellations of gatherings of 250 people or more, not requiring the cancellation, churches aren't even on the list of things to avoid, although it's implied for larger churches. And if the church has live streaming,  as larger churches commonly do, there's no need to "not be allowed" to hold services, people can watch from home. Seriously, in light of how much people are either panicking or outright denying there even is an epidemic, staying home seems to be the better plan. 

https://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200312a.shtml

 

12 hours ago, Salyan said:

Not allowed, eh? That right there concerns me a whole lot more than any health danger. Our governments are using this as an excuse to test severe restriction of liberties, and the people are letting them. 

I doubt that. They're just trying to stop an epidemic from spreading, and the best way to do that is to limit social gatherings, of all kinds. Major sporting events are being cancelled as well and you should hear the uproar over that, people love their sport ball. People are balking at being regulated, I don't see much of people quietly letting it happen. Will some governments try to take advantage of the epidemic? Probably.  But it really is also common sense to stay away from large gatherings when contagious sickness (of any kind) is going around, but people in these days don't appear to have the common sense to self regulate themselves. This panic over tissue paper is a perfect example. People panic and don't think. The government steps in to regulate or try to control the panic and people panic more because they believe their liberties are being taken away. So the circle of panic continues.

What to do? Trust God. Pray for wisdom. Use the common sense He gave us. Try not to spread articles that lead to panic - misinformation is rampant on social media sites being spread by the media, regular people, and Christians alike, so be careful about what you're reading, try to find the source of something that concerns you. Stay informed about what's actually happening in your area, don't give in to gossip. 

II Timothy 1:7  "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

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You have to live in the Northeast to understand Northeast politics and the difference on what the government post in public and what they say in phone call and letters. Almost mob style mentality. 

With the government here in the Northeast shutting down colleges, they actually spread it from the Northeast to all over the country. They shut schools down and forced students (some who have been exposed to the virus) to go home. The virus which was contained to one area now was sent all over the country.

What I don't understand is why are we looking to the government for help? Living in the Northeast my whole life, the government is all about take control and liberty in our lives. Our politicians seem to tell us they know me better than I know me.

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Here in England all sports events have been cancelled,  Our local elections have been put off from May till May next year. Over 70's have been told to self isolate for 2 weeks, but it seems it may be extended to mandatory self isolation for 4 months with a £1,000 fins if you don't comply. Shelves in many stores are emptying of toilet rolls and long lasting foods.  I saw a report on the news today in which they visited a street market to ask about shortages.  One stall had a sign "Spend £10 and get a free toilet roll."

Our church has had services as normal, although I haven't been for two weeks as both my wife and I have had sore throats and been coughing a lot and are supposed to be self isolating if we show any of those symptoms.  It was our Sunday Schoolprizegiving this afternoon and it went ahead as usual.

Our previous church was closed today as the visiting  preacher who was travelling from a distance, called and said he had just had a call to say that someone he spent an evening with a day or two before had been tested positive and was told it was better for him to return home because it would be better for him to be ill there than away from home.  A member of the church said he would preach today, but be suddenly got a very high temperature and several leaders of the church had been with him just before, they cancelled the Sunday services  and are all self isolating. It is a very small church.

My wife and I are both self isolating as we are both over 80. We are not looking forward to being confined for 4 months. Although I can spend time on my allotment which is just through a gate at the bottom of our garden. 

Edited by Invicta

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Here in WA, the governor dictated that no gatherings larger than 250 were allowed, and schools are closed form now through April 24. Originally colleges were not, but they likely are now. Because tonight he came out and said no gatherings larger than 50, and any of the under 50 gatherings MUST abide by - and announce that they do - the hygiene and social distancing rules. He is also mandating that bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues be closed. And he and his cronies are promising that the financial aspect will be somehow remedied. READ: by the taxpayers.

I don't need a governor telling me how to be safe. I can figure it out myself - which is why I stayed home while I was sick. And now my mom is sick...she stayed home today. She's a smart cookie, too.

We only have the two girls coming to Sunday School, but they won't be here for an undetermined amount of time. Their mother is wanting them to be self-quarantined to make sure they don't have the virus at all (I'm thinking the school probably suggested that to parents). Even though the virus is not on the peninsula yet. It may or may not get here. 

Interestingly, the virus has stopped in China. Folks have gotten well and the temporary hospitals have been closed down. I hope Italy soon follows suit with people getting well. Italy has come out and said that nobody over 80 who has the virus will be treated. Socialized medicine at its "best."

Vitamin C, folks, among other things. Massive doses of it have helped folks who were very ill with this to get well. As of now, as far as I know, that's not something folks are buying, so it should be on the shelves.

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CT, NJ, & NY just announced that all restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms are to close at 8pm tonight...only allowing  drive through open.  There goes my dinner plans for tonight. lol

I was schedule to preach last night in a church in Hartford Ct. --That got cancelled. I'm scheduled to preach at New England Baptist College on Monday - I think that is getting cancelled today.

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9 hours ago, HappyChristian said:

Here in WA, the governor dictated that no gatherings larger than 250 were allowed, and schools are closed form now through April 24. Originally colleges were not, but they likely are now. Because tonight he came out and said no gatherings larger than 50, and any of the under 50 gatherings MUST abide by - and announce that they do - the hygiene and social distancing rules. He is also mandating that bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues be closed. And he and his cronies are promising that the financial aspect will be somehow remedied. READ: by the taxpayers.

I don't need a governor telling me how to be safe. I can figure it out myself - which is why I stayed home while I was sick. And now my mom is sick...she stayed home today. She's a smart cookie, too.

We only have the two girls coming to Sunday School, but they won't be here for an undetermined amount of time. Their mother is wanting them to be self-quarantined to make sure they don't have the virus at all (I'm thinking the school probably suggested that to parents). Even though the virus is not on the peninsula yet. It may or may not get here. 

Interestingly, the virus has stopped in China. Folks have gotten well and the temporary hospitals have been closed down. I hope Italy soon follows suit with people getting well. Italy has come out and said that nobody over 80 who has the virus will be treated. Socialized medicine at its "best."

Vitamin C, folks, among other things. Massive doses of it have helped folks who were very ill with this to get well. As of now, as far as I know, that's not something folks are buying, so it should be on the shelves.

I too live in WA. My wife has been working part-time in the school as a teacher's aid, and that ends today for a while. There has been no evidence of the panic reported in other areas here in SE Washington, for which I am greatful.

Our church is growing, but still very small. We had 18 in attendance yesterday. We will not be canceling services at this time, but will fully support and encourage those who are deciding to stay home for a time. We actually had a visitor, an elderly man in a wheelchair. I preached on not letting fear run your life, but balancing that with being wise and not tempting God.

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10 hours ago, weary warrior said:

I too live in WA. My wife has been working part-time in the school as a teacher's aid, and that ends today for a while. There has been no evidence of the panic reported in other areas here in SE Washington, for which I am grateful.

Our church is growing, but still very small. We had 18 in attendance yesterday. We will not be canceling services at this time, but will fully support and encourage those who are deciding to stay home for a time. We actually had a visitor, an elderly man in a wheelchair. I preached on not letting fear run your life, but balancing that with being wise and not tempting God.

WW, it seems like you have taken a very reasonable approach in regard to the crisis in your area. Your sermon topic was very timely and I am sure helpful. I am so glad to hear of your increased attendance and especially grateful for your new visitor; this is very encouraging and reinforces our mission of winning the hearts and souls, one soul at a time.

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3 hours ago, weary warrior said:

I too live in WA. My wife has been working part-time in the school as a teacher's aid, and that ends today for a while. There has been no evidence of the panic reported in other areas here in SE Washington, for which I am greatful.

Our church is growing, but still very small. We had 18 in attendance yesterday. We will not be canceling services at this time, but will fully support and encourage those who are deciding to stay home for a time. We actually had a visitor, an elderly man in a wheelchair. I preached on not letting fear run your life, but balancing that with being wise and not tempting God.

Yes, the epicenter is King County (good metaphor...King County is the cause of most of our political problems here in the state LOL), with Spokane being the next largest problem. Even with that, considering the numbers who are listed as having the virus, it is a negligible number in comparison to the flu. The flu has also killed more people than this has. However, the flu is so common that government would have a hard time mandating the closure of things and thus bottoming out the economy. Well, other than toilet paper manufacturers. LOL

I'm glad you had 18 yesterday. And a visitor to boot! We had 5 in Sunday School and 7 in the main service, 5 last night. Some of our members (as I mentioned my mom) have self-quarantined due to colds. One member lives with his sister, brother-in-law, and niece (plus other family members). His BIL and niece both have major health issues that are actually terminial, so they are quarantined by doctor's order. They are also members of our church. Anyway, this member now has a cold and so is staying home - and virtually stuck in his room, because his niece is convinced he has covid (which has entirely different symptoms from what he has) and is afraid she will contract it. Understandable, because if she gets it, it will kill her most likely. However, that is a picture of what the media hype has done to people. Created a fear within them that makes them afraid of their own family. Small wonder that the majority of people have no issues with government mandated closures and limits on gatherings.

My husband is preaching on the different aspect of Christ this month. Yesterday he spoke  on Christ as Creator. He also was able to emphasize that we oughtn't let fear run our lives. I'm thankful for pastors who can actually comfort their people in this way!

 

~~~~~~~

Don't get me wrong - I don't want anybody sick. But I am tired of the hype. More people - VASTLY more - have survived the virus than have died from it. 

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5 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

I find it quite interesting and possibly disconcerting that if you say these things to some people they are immediately on the defensive and even to the point of attacking you for not "caring."

One I was called: a judgmental pharisee. 

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Update.  The government have now given their new advice and it is not as bad as we were given to believe.  Those of us over 70 have been advised top self isolate for 12 weeks.  They may introduce penalties if people don't comply. I have been told that Iceland stores are setting 2 hours, 9-11am tomorrow exclusively for those who are self isolating.  I spoke to our pastor this morning and said we would stay at home and listen to the services online for the immediate future and he agreed.  He is considering what to do about services and will consult with members. 

It is my birthday on Saturday and I was planning to take our family to a meal at the Everest Inn, a Nepalese which is popular with the family, but I will need to put that off.

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I'm beyond caring about government mandated closures - I am increasingly thinking we should close (or meet outside - like Russian believers under Communism) for each other's safety. Actually - churches did that during the Spanish Influenza when they chose to shut the building doors!

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31 minutes ago, Salyan said:

I'm beyond caring about government mandated closures - I am increasingly thinking we should close (or meet outside - like Russian believers under Communism) for each other's safety. Actually - churches did that during the Spanish Influenza when they chose to shut the building doors!

That can get you labeled Anti-government, anti-public safety, paranoid, extremist, cultist, anti- Rom 13, rebel, etc.

btw - not only do I understand that none of the above would be an accurate assessment——-my wife and I also agree with you!!!!!!!!

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