The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause a great deal of concern across the world, and with diagnosed cases in the Triangle area, we want to address some specifics about our response as a church community. We do this not to create a sense of anxiety about the virus, but because as a community of believers who are bound to each other to care for one another, we think it is best to talk openly about our needs and practices and about who we believe we are, even in the face of a disease like this one. It’s also important that we communicate clearly that we are taking this situation seriously and planning ahead for appropriate and graduated responses as needs evolve.
We believe that our care is expressed on two levels simultaneously: one, for each and every one of us in their own body, and two, for the body that together is Yates Baptist Church. Here are few things you can do and a few that we can do together:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. It’s part of our normal routine to “reach out and find a hand to hold” at the close of our services. Right now, some people might be less comfortable with that. That’s OK, and we want to give permission to those who are seeking a little more social distance. It doesn’t change our hospitality or our friendliness at all, and might enhance it given the current needs of the day. So offer a fist- or elbow-bump instead. A very friendly wave or even a slight bow isn’t that bad. We’re still together, greeting one another in the name and peace of Christ, and that matters.
- Stay home when you are sick. Hebrews 10:25 might say “let us not neglect our meeting together,” but that doesn’t have to mean at all costs. One of the most important things you can do for your body is care for it when you are sick, so not only do you have permission to stay home in those circumstances, we encourage you to do so. You are also showing a tremendous amount of care for other church members and guests by not coming and potentially exposing them to colds, flu or even, yes, coronavirus if that becomes more prevalent in our area. If you have a cough, a fever, are sneezing or show other symptoms, please care for your body and for the body of Yates Baptist Church by resting and recuperating at home. We will look forward to seeing you when you’ve recovered. BONUS: there are lots of ways to participate alongside Yates, even when you aren’t physically present! Each week on Sunday afternoons you can listen to the sermon on our website at yateschurch.org/sermons. You can subscribe to that audio podcast in Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher. That audio is available in our Yates app every Monday. Don’t forget you can still care for us financially too: online giving is available on the website at yateschurch.org/give and through our Yates app by tapping the heart icon at the bottom of the screen. Get the app here.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it can keep us all from getting sick. Handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs. The restrooms at Yates are available for your use, stocked with soap, water and paper towels! Also, we are placing hand sanitizer gel at the entrances to the Vestibule, Welcome Center, Breezeway, the church office and the Attic. Check out this fact sheet that helps understand the how’s and why’s of when to choose each one.
A short CDC video about handwashing. Find out more at www.cdc.gov/handwashing/
We will continue to adjust and respond as needed. Pray for those who have already been affected, especially those families who grieve because of virus-related deaths. Pray for all those in medical professions who will help those who are sick. And pray for our Yates Baptist Church family, that we will be a source of love and care for those who are are anxious and for those who may suffer from this illness.
- A little distance is OK, even in our services. There are lots of ways to express our fellowship without holding hands.
- Stay home when you are sick, but think of the ways you can still be a part of our worship.
- Wash your hands. Good hand hygiene cares for your body and the body that is Yates Baptist Church.
Find important info at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.