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Communication Regarding COVID-19 Outbreak, 03/13/2020
Communication Regarding COVID-19 Outbreak, 03/13/2020
Walnut family,
During this unprecedented time of uncertainty in our country, our leadership is considering prayerfully how to best move forward in the immediate future, as well as in the coming weeks and months, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation with the CoronaVirus outbreak. The health and wellbeing of our church family is a high priority at this time and a responsibility we take seriously. We are developing plans based on the information we have at the current time, but due to the rapidly changing situation we are continuing to evaluate best practices.
At present, we are still planning to meet for Bible class and morning worship this Sunday, March 15th, with the following changes taking place:
·        Greeters will hold the entrance doors open before class and service time, so your need to touch doors and handles will be minimized.
·        We will not observe Meet & Greet time at the start of our worship service.
·        Communion will be observed using all-in-one bread and cup. These will be available at the back of the auditorium as you enter for worship.
·        Our offering will be given at the close of service, in select locations at the back of the worship center, as you leave. This will eliminate our need to pass trays throughout the auditorium.
*please remember the option to give online is available to you. Simply text WCOC to 77977 to get started or go to walnutchurchofchrist.org and look for the green ‘give online’ button at the top of the page.
·        Prayer requests can be turned in at the offering locations in the back and will be prayed over privately by your shepherds and staff.
·        We will not observe 6:00 evening worship on Sunday, March 15th. Alterations to future gathering times may be announced later, as the situation continues to evolve.
These changes will be kept in place for the foreseeable future, until the need arises to take possible further steps. 
In addition to these changes to our gathering times, we would also like to recommend the following:
·        Use your best judgement, always. We want you to feel the freedom to make the best decision for you and your family as it relates to participating in large gatherings.
·        Older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions are high risk and should avoid crowds as much as possible. We love our senior members, so much so that we want you to be well in the long term.
·        If you are not feeling well, please stay home.
·        For the time being, please refrain from handshakes and hugs. Let’s respect everyone’s concerns during this time.
·        Please make a point to practice good hand hygiene. Washing with soap and warm water is best. We will also have hand sanitizer available.
Without a doubt, this is a disruption of our ‘normal,’ and may continue to be for some time. In light of all the things that may be changed or put on hold for a while, let us consider the two greatest commandments given by Jesus: To love God with all our heart, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.  None of the things we’re putting into practice hinders us from fulfilling these commands. Our faith in God and our love for God is unwavering, no matter what short-term changes we enact as we navigate through this time. Further, one of the best ways we can ‘Love our Neighbor’ right now is to be prudent and responsible in taking every precaution to minimize the possible spread of the virus, thinking not only how it might affect us, but how it might affect those who may be at a greater risk.
The uncertainty of this outbreak is creating anxiety in our workspaces, schools, and day-to-day activities. Yet, we remain certain of God’s steadfast presence and careful attention to all that is happening. Please join us in praying for those who are affected by this illness, as well as their caregivers and those who are working around the clock to minimize the impact of this virus.
In Psalm 46, we are reminded that it is God who is our refuge and strength, and our ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, let us not fear, but with confidence use this opportunity to be God’s Heart to our community through our prayers and our care for others.
With faith and love,
Your Elders and Ministers


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