|TCASC Response to the Coronavirus (March 12, 2020)
Dear Shelby Crossings family,
I am sure you have seen that the public response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) has escalated at an unthinkable pace over the past few days. The World Health Organization has declared it to be an international pandemic, major sporting events have been cancelled or postponed, and grocery store shelves are emptying of basic supplies.
I have been skeptical about what I have perceived as an over-reaction to the issue form the media over the past few weeks, but have been surprised in the past 24 hours that several reasonable and level-headed sources have started to raise their level of concern about the potential. As I and dangerous spread of this virus. As I write this, there have been no known cases in Alabama, but that will almost certainly change soon. This is not a time to panic, or to live in fear, but to have a wise and prudent response to the illness.
Accordingly, we as the elders and staff of The Church at Shelby Crossings want to assure you that we are monitoring the situation and that we will be judicious and proactive to mitigate any risk for our church family. At this point, our plans are to continue all of our current schedule of services and activities. However, that could change quickly if there are developments in the situation that warrant cancellations. We will continue to communicate in a timely manner through our social media pages, and if needed, through email (to the ePistle mailing list).
Since, as a church, we are a volunteer organization, those who do not feel safe attending public gatherings can certainly make the choice not to attend. If you are in an “at risk” group—senior citizens, not in good health, immuno-suppressed—we certainly understand if you would want to err on the side of caution and stay home.
In the mean time, we will be extra diligent in our precautions to make sure our church facilities are sanitized, even more so than we would during an ordinary flu season. We would ask that you help us keep our environment as germ-free as possible by practicing basic hygiene (thorough hand-washing, covered coughs and sneezes) and refraining from handshaking as you greet one another. If you feel yourself getting sick, we hope you will “love your neighbor” by staying home and getting well, instead of sharing it with the rest of us.
And I would ask you to join us in praying—for the Lord’s protection from this virus, as well as for wisdom in navigating any difficult decisions that may have to be made in the days and weeks ahead. More than anything, my hope and prayer is that somehow God will use this in the life of our church and community—and in our nation—to humble us, remind us of our dependence on Him, and draw us to Himself.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Ken Letson, Pastor