With the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) reported in South Carolina, we are being reminded of the fragile state of our human condition. Such situations remind us of what James told the church in the first century: “…You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
What Can We Do?
It is easy to become worried in times like this, but our encouragement to you would be to trust in our great God. Perhaps it is a good time to take an honest inventory of your life – to be certain that your hope for eternal life is grounded in the finished work of Jesus and his sovereign purposes for you. Keep in mind that plagues and illnesses like these were prevalent in the early years of the Church, yet those early followers of Jesus persevered through them as well with dynamic faith that evidenced the truth of a risen and conquering Savior to the communities where they lived!
God’s Word is a sure and steady anchor for us even in how to respond to such crises. Jesus would tell us not to worry or panic, and don’t give in to fear. Rather, with sober-mindedness, face reality with wisdom and hope.
What is Crossroads Doing?
In light of this current situation, we are taking steps to make Crossroads Church a safe and healthy place for those who enter our doors, but this will require your cooperation.
The short version: 1) wash your hands, 2) practice contactless methods of interaction when you are sick, and 3) pray.
Here are some extended comments regarding what we are doing at Crossroads:
- We are re-stocking our hand sanitizers across the campus. Each will be filled with a 62% ethyl alcohol-based gel that can kill the Coronavirus. We encourage you to use them often. (Supply of hand sanitizer is scarce, so we are doing our best to locate adequate supplies. You may want to carry your own, in case you find yourself in a place where the supply has been exhausted.)
- We are also putting signs in every restroom that remind us to wash our hands. This is the number one weapon for stopping the spread of infection. When washing, wet your hands, soap them up and vigorously rub them together. When finished, rinse your hands and dry them completely. Open the door to the restroom with the used towel, your elbow or a clenched fist.
- We have also stopped using a common cup for Holy Communion. Our Usher Teams will serve individually-wrapped Communion packets while wearing gloves. (Additionally, we will not be serving Communion this week, March 15th, because of a special service oriented around Compassion International.)
- We have also asked our Guest Services Teams to be especially vigilant in cleaning door handles and knobs. All servants, leaders and staff are asked to do their part in thoroughly cleaning up their spaces after meetings and gatherings.
- Since COVID-19 symptoms are similar to the onset of the common cold or the flu, if you are coughing, sneezing, running a fever or having trouble breathing, DO NOT COME TO CHURCH. Stay home until your symptoms are gone. Watch on Periscope or Facebook Live, and leverage online giving options.
- Since respiratory infections such as the flu or COVID-19 are spread through water droplets expelled from the mouth or nose, always sneeze or cough into a disposable tissue or your elbow. If you cover your mouth with your bare hand, wash and sanitize immediately.
- Since larger social gatherings are often where diseases are easily passed along to others, practice “social distancing” until the current risk has passed. DON’T SHAKE HANDS OR HUG. Simply smile and say hello. At least for a while, your pastors will not be shaking hands at the door after services, but we will continue to greet you.
Last but not least, PRAY.
- Pray for the victims who are suffering, especially adults 60 and older who seem to be the most vulnerable to this virus, as well as those with compromised immune systems and/or prone to respiratory distress.
- Pray for families who are grieving lost loved ones all around the world.
- Pray for the nations to turn to God as this epidemic grows.
- Pray for God’s protection and deliverance from COVID-19.
- Pray that God’s mission of Gospel Saturation will sovereignly be advanced in the midst of this terrible situation around the globe.
Thank you for your continued involvement in the Crossroads Church family! Please let us know how we can serve you in this season.