Holding hands to pray. Passing the offering plate. Using a shared cup during communion. With the coronavirus spreading around the world, churches are rethinking the way they worship.
Jon Fortune, assistant city manager over public safety for the City of Dallas, said there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Dallas.
But there’s no telling if the virus will affect our city. So, starting this Sunday, Munger Place Church will take measures to keep its flock healthy and discourage the spread of the virus.
“At all times, we want our folks to feel as safe as possible when coming to church,” the Rev. Andrew Forrest said in an email to his congregation. “In times of crisis and with fear whispering in our ears, it’s more important than ever that the Church comes together on Sundays.”
Here’s what Munger Place Church will do to prevent the spread of germs among congregants:
- All doors will be propped open so no one will have to pull on a door handle.
- Instead of passing the offering plate, the church will have big offering baskets near the exits where folks can drop their offering. Giving online is always an option.
- No doughnuts will be served at morning services. Don’t worry! Individually wrapped treats will be available for those who can’t sit through church without a treat. (More good news: Although the church will not be asking the local doughnut shop, which depends on the church’s business, to make its usual order, the church will keep paying for it anyway.)
- Congregants will not pass the peace or shake hands. Elbow bumps it is.
- Staff members will clean and disinfect all surfaces after each service.
Want to help? If you or your children are sick, stay home. The church will have sanitizer supplies for a couple of months, but if congregants bring their own, it will help make supplies last.
“No one knows the future, and we are all in the hands of God,” Forrest said. “But that’s always true, isn’t it? We have an opportunity to show our neighbors the difference faith in Jesus makes. Let’s do it.”
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