One of the best decisions made by Poplar Springs over the past couple of years was the formation of the Health Promotion Team. When it formed it was seen as a group of medical people in our congregation who would keep us informed concerning healthy living, nutrition, monthly medical emphases, and general well being. We wore a variety of colors on assorted Sundays to emphasize various health concerns. We had blood pressure checks, nutrition talks and “in church” visits with a medical person. All these things were terrific and beneficial for a church that meets in person like we used to. Now that we have transitioned temporarily to a virtual format they have taken on an indispensable advisory role along with church council and Deacons. I believe God knew what was coming and provided the needed experts for a church seeking to minister during a global pandemic.
We began this adventure back in March when we (your church staff ) sat down with some members from this group and discussed our approach to being church during a pandemic and what it would look like. They did not make demands but simply suggested that we consider what I would call a couple of weeks of “snow Sundays.” My first response was …”We can’t do that – the church needs to at least think we do something to earn our keep.” We listened to their suggestions, consulted church council and deacons, and as an informed staff made the decision to halt in person worship and Sunday school for only a couple of weeks. This bug needed to run its course. Never did I expect that this would last until 2021.
Since March we have met remotely. We have assembled with the proper precautions and now as we enter January we have an ailment on the rise. I will admit, cases for the past few months have been few and far between. I caught the virus in July and you have seen and heard of other cases in our area. The virus was real but it was seemingly worse elsewhere. Now the Coronavirus is on the loose again. I now have numerous friends and acquaintances in a variety of state and local and other ICUs and I am grieving losses like you are and worrying about friends in lonely hospital rooms. We have frontline medical personnel risking their lives and we have our most vulnerable dying in rooms without family by their sides. It is tragic.
At Poplar Springs we want to protect our congregation and we want to do our part to fight this heartless enemy. We are again consulting the Health Promotion team, church council, and deacons for input and I ask for your understanding and patience as we (your church staff ) will be suggesting that we worship remotely until February 7th. At this time we will assess the situation and determine where to go from there. If we do fling the doors wide open on February 7th I pray that we won’t have snow because I love seeing the family at Poplar Springs and I am tired of “snow days.”