Dear North Valley Friends and Family,
Last night as my wife and I left Neighborhood Group, we couldn’t help but realize the great fear and concern that many of you and others in our state and country are experiencing concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s on everyone’s minds, it’s all over the media, and the topic of conversations just about everywhere.
First, I wanted to let you know that Governor Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services is hosting a webinar tomorrow specific for churches and faith-based organizations that I will be part of that will give us further instructions concerning COVID-19 for faith-based organizations and social services. Please be looking for an update tomorrow in your email or on the website.
Secondly, please help us by doing your part. Spiritually, be praying for those affected with the virus, be praying for the first responders and health care workers, and be praying for yourself. It’s important to be wise and take precautions. The Apostle Paul teaches the church in Ephesus, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time.”For now, the best use of time is to be proactive. We don’t need to be foolish but wise in this situation. We need to be proactive, not reactive. Being proactive looks like doing the following:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Staying home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
As of today, there are only nine known cases of Coronavirus in Arizona. Regardless of the particular strain of virus, basic precautions and preventative measures to help limit the spread of contagious/respiratory diseases can be implemented. We ask that you join us in helping keep a safe and clean church congregation for the good of one another and the glory of God.
Third, I wanted to share what we are doing as church right away and communicating to all those who are part of our congregation.
- Volunteers, children, youth, and staff may not serve or attend while experiencing flu-like symptoms. Those who have had flu-like symptoms should be symptom free for 24 hours prior to returning to any North Valley program. This includes any fever of 100 degrees or more.
- Hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the building and should be frequently used by volunteers, children, youth, and attendees.
- We are asking our friendly greeting team and staff to limit handshakes and hugs and replace them with friendly smiles and words of encouragement.
- We are increasing our cleaning and facilities teams for thorough cleaning/disinfecting practices with added focus in the children and youth areas as well as high-touch surface areas and doorknobs.
- We will not be passing an offering basket or communion tray in our services for the immediate future.
- We have cancelled our Mexico Missions trip due to international travel restrictions and border concerns with COVID-19. On a positive note, 100% of the funding came in and the family has already been selected and promised a home. We have a team in Mexico planning to build the home for the family and I will keep you posted on the family and construction development.
In closing, please know that I will be addressing the congregation this Sunday and will be sending an email out tomorrow as well to keep you posted on any new developments. I appreciate your participation and patience as we give this situation the attention and response that is needed.
God is at work, so let’s remain vigilant to be proactive when we face fear, but never paralyzed by fear.