March 14, 2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers;
The threat of the coronavirus has precipitated many decisions across our island, state, and nation. So, here’s the status of the events involving St. Paul in the week to come.
- Worship on Sunday, March 15th, will be offered as usual at 9:30am. Sunday School and the adult forum were not scheduled to meet this weekend due to spring break in the schools.
- Confirmation on Sunday, March 15, will be offered as usual at 3:00pm.
- The Book Club gathering on Monday, March 16, will meet at 6pm as scheduled.
- Prayer Group on Tuesday, March 17, at noon, will meet as scheduled.
- Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday, March 18, at 7am, will gather as scheduled.
- Three Saints Mid-week Lenten worship and pot-luck meal has been canceled for the foreseeable future.
- Financial Peace University on Thursday, March 19, at 7pm, will meet as scheduled.
RATIONALE: There has been but one confirmed case of the coronavirus in Alaska to date, and that case was quickly isolated and verified not to have been spread to others. Taking reasonable precautions (described below) gives us every reason to believe that we will be safe to gather as church in the week to come. If this rationale should change in any way, I will use email and our website to bring you the latest information. Please check your email and/or our church website (www.stpaulkodiak.org) at least once each day.
- If your immune system has been compromised by an underlying health condition, or if you are not feeling completely well, do not come to any church event. We love seeing you on every occasion; however, we want the blessing of your company for many years to come. Do not take chances in today’s uncertain world.
- If you, like me, are over the age of 60, carefully assess you personal situation. Please realize that even if you are in great personal health, your immune system is not as robust as it was when you were younger.
- Wash your hands upon arrival at the church. We have plenty of hand sanitizer in many locations, and soap and water in the restrooms and food service areas. Please use these for your benefit and as an act of love for others.
- Spread out when worshipping in our sanctuary. It’s fine to sit closely with family and others in your household, but maintain a bit of distance from others. Again, I ask that everyone realize this temporary distance as an act of love, not one of indifference.
- Bear with us while our worship is slightly modified. The passing of the Peace of Christ has been suspended and the common cup at communion is not available during the threat of this virus. Please be understanding of our efforts to protect the health of all.
It is possible that everything described above could change next weekend. Our brothers and sisters may be returning from their Spring Break along with so many others, and it is possible that Alaska and Kodiak’s situation could be changed by people who have traveled far and wide. This virus is non-discriminatory … it attacks people of every religious persuasion. So, again, stay informed and check our church website and your email frequently.
If you would like to see the latest COVID-19 Updates from the Kodiak Emergency Preparedness folks, check out this website: https://www.city.kodiak.ak.us/emergencypreparedness/page/coronavirus-covid-19-updates.
You are more than welcome to contact me through any of the means listed below if you want to discuss these issues or if you have advice to offer the rest of our congregation.
May we return to the Lord, for the love of Christ,
Pr. Mark Behenna