In light of recent events and concerns regarding flus, colds, and the spread of COVID-19 (the coronavirus), we want to communicate what we are doing at URC as we seek to operate in wisdom and care for one another.
In our children’s wing there are already multiple measures in place to steward the health of our kids: hand sanitizer is available and encouraged for parents, volunteers, and children to make use of regularly; toys are managed in such a way as to eliminate the spread of viruses; the entire wing is cleaned and refreshed regularly with products that are safe for kids but hard on germs.
In addition, we have an existing sickness policy for children: if a child has exhibited certain symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, fever, runny nose, sore throat) within the last 24 hours they should avoid being in class with other children and are encouraged to stay home. During this season, we would encourage adults to follow this policy as well.
Regarding the rest of the church, we have and will continue to manage our facilities in a way to steward everyone’s health. We already take multiple measures to ensure this is the case, including regular deep-cleaning of the building (especially in the winter), using commercial-grade cleaning products where appropriate (e.g. restrooms, high traffic areas), changing air filters on a conscientious preventative maintenance schedule, etc. Additionally, we are proactively working towards mitigating the spread of sickness this flu season by removing refreshments after the services, increasing the amount and availability of hand sanitizer throughout the building, and staying informed by actively monitoring various news sources and implementing helpful recommendations.
Based on the information available, it is good for all of us to take normal precautions such as frequent hand washing, covering your mouth with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and staying home if you’re sick.
Even as we seek to be diligent and faithful in what we’re given to do, we ultimately commit ourselves to the capable and loving hands of our heavenly father. As William Plumer says in his commentary on Psalm 91:5-6, “Blessed is he that has a calm and fearless trust in God. It is one of God’s best gifts in this world. It is a wondrous protection. Nothing is so prudent as genuine courage.”
As Christians, we may not possess any greater degree of knowledge about the seriousness or lack of seriousness regarding this most recent virus, but we know the One who does. And we know that He sits enthroned above. Therefore, though concern is appropriate, we do not fear as the world fears. Our theology matters and proves itself in times like this. Christian faith shines the brightest in the midst of dark times. Keep coming to worship and participating in the ministries of the church as long as you are healthy and it is wise. And let’s keep praying for the Lord’s sovereign mercy and safekeeping.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. (2 Thess. 2:16-17)
By His Grace,
University Reformed Church