Dear Friends,

As COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, continues to spread, many of you have asked me what steps Good Sam’s is taking in order to be ready for when the virus affects our region. Bishop Baskerville-Burrows issued a pastoral letter to our Diocese last Friday regarding responsible virus preparations, which you can read here. At Good Sam’s, we will follow the guidance of our Bishop, which includes:

1. Praying. Please pause and pray for all those affected by the virus, including the ill, their caregivers, medical professionals, those who have died, and those affected by the financial repercussions of this virus, especially hourly wage employees who are now facing economic hardship as their jobs are placed on hold.

2. Staying healthy. We encourage you to wash your hands often and to stay at home from worship and other gatherings if you feel unwell.

3. Celebrating Holy Communion with healthy preventative measures, which include:

  • Using metal and glass communion vessels that can be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between services.
  • Requiring our clergy and chalice bearers to use hand sanitizer before celebrating or distributing the elements. (We will also have some sanitizer available for worshippers to use in the rear of the gym at Harris Academy.)
  • For the foreseeable future, we will ask Good Samaritans to refrain from intincting (the dipping of the bread into the chalice). Epidemiologists note that this is the most likely method for the spread of any sort of germ or illness, even more so than drinking from the common cup.
  • The Book of Common Prayer teaches us that if we receive Holy Communion in either form of the bread or cup, we have received the fullness of God’s blessing intended for us in the Sacrament. If you would prefer not to drink from the common cup, we will ask you to receive the bread only and to cross yourself for a blessing as you pass the cup.

4. Following further directives from the Diocese of Indianapolis, especially as they may relate to cancelling worship or other public gatherings. We’re also mindful this may affect our pilgrimage to Civil Rights sights later this month.

As Bishop Jennifer writes, “These times of illness and uncertainty can be trying, but as we take steps to care for one another and our communities, we show God’s love to an anxious world. Thank you, as always, for your care for one another and our beloved church.”

With thanks, Gray



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