Coronavirus Update from Christopher - March 2, 2020

03.02.20 | Coronavirus | by Christopher Edmonston

    March 2, 2020

    Dear Members and Friends of White Memorial:
    I wanted to write you and let you know that your church staff has been thinking and praying about how the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus might affect our church family and our operations as a church campus. Here are the steps we are preparing to take:

    1. We will follow all directives from the Division of Public Health of the NC Department of Health and Human Services and from Wake County Public Health officials. Should they ask churches to abstain from public worship, we are preparing to comply. In the extraordinary event of Sunday cancellations, we will prepare streamed worship services of song and prayer.   
    2. Our Weekday School will follow the same directives, and/or mirror the directives of the Wake County Public School System.
    3. We are preparing, if necessary, to alter our Sunday morning liturgy to be reflective of suggestions made by local health professionals and organizations such as Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. These might include suspending the passing of the peace, abstaining from the Lord’s Supper, etc.
    4. Our administrative staff is working on practical applications of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and similar products on our church campus in high traffic areas and in and around our church dining and kitchen facilities.
    5. We have had ongoing discussions about providing pastoral care in the midst of an accelerating situation involving the spread of this virus. We will share our plans for care as the situation develops. But, we intend to keep providing pastoral care.

    I also wanted to make some important requests of each of you:

    1. Please pray. Prayer settles hearts, gives direction, creates empathy, and can even help outcomes be changed. Pray for those who are sick. Pray for those who are afraid. Pray for those who live in places with no access to health care. Pray for public health officials who are so very strained.
    2. Let us try to increase our courage. Fear muddles everything. A virus which is a clear cause for concern and commands a response is not automatically a cause for panic. There is a gulf between expressing caution and thrashing about in fear. 
    3. Be a good neighbor. If you know people who are especially prone or susceptible, or if people that you know self-isolate or are quarantined in the weeks to come, be a friend and reach out to them with whatever technology you may be able to use. The support of friends and loved ones is crucial to any recovery. 

    May God bless those so deeply afraid and greatly affected. May the grace of God, indeed, abound,
    Christopher H. Edmonston
    Pastor, White Memorial Presbyterian Church