I’m so sorry that my sermon series on living in an age of overwhelm has turned out to be terribly and perpetually appropriate!
I know many of you are worried about the coronavirus and its potential impact. And I know this worry is heightened by the feeling that what we are hearing from the government could be inaccurate.
The news and social media is full of panic and bad news, so stay aware of how much you are reading online. I recommend trying to stay focused on what is happening locally (which is very little so far).
Because there is plenty of alarming news out there, I wanted to share a calming article with you: “Coronavirus: 10 reasons why you ought not to panic.”
At Chalice, our community is vulnerable. The majority of our congregation is age 60 and older. We also have many people with chronic illnesses and compromised immune systems.
We are forming a task force to guide our response to COVID-19. We are also making some decisions about what changes to make at Chalice to ensure we are doing what we can to protect and help each other. I expect to send an email on Friday with more details about protective changes we can make when we gather on Sunday mornings.
For right now:
Most Importantly at Chalice
- If you are not feeling well, please stay home.
- If you are in a vulnerable population, please stay home. (You can read more about coronavirus at the County of San Diego’s website.)
- Do not shake hands with people.
- Do not hug people. (It’s terrible! I know!)
Suggestions for Meetings and Gatherings
- I personally suggest that you don’t have in-person meetings if you don’t have to. FaceTime and Skype are free. Zoom is free for meetings of up to three people. If you have a Chalice meeting of more than three people and would like to use Zoom, please contact me about using my professional Zoom account.
- If you feel anxious about attending Chalice events or activities, stay home! It is okay to be cautious.
- Group leaders should consider polling your group about whether or not you want to meet. Again, Zoom is an option, and you can contact me about using my account.
Chalice members, friends, and those who attend regularly are in Neighborhood Groups together. We hope those of you in groups will be in good email or phone communication with each other. This is a time to let your neighbors know what’s going on with you! Please let your group neighbors know if you are not feeling well, and certainly if the virus begins to spread in San Diego County, let your neighbors know if you have been quarantined or diagnosed. Neighborhood group leaders will be in communication with me about who is impacted and how.
“Staying at home” and “isolating” are two different things! We need each other now more than ever. Connections through social media are not enough. I recommend calling a friend or family member at least once a day, to check in and to chat. If you do not have someone to talk with, let me know!
Finally, it is already our regular practice to livestream the Sunday sermon on our Facebook page (you don’t need a Facebook account to watch it), and then to post the video there afterward. When we have All Church services, which don’t have a sermon, we try to livestream what we can. If you do decide to stay home on Sunday, you can still watch the sermon online.
Keep an eye out for my Friday email.
Blessings and love,