Dear Murfreesboro Baptist Church Family,
We are at the end of another week of the COVID-19 pandemic and I want give everyone a few updates about decisions that have been made for the coming weeks. Although we had hoped to return to regular worship by Sunday, April 5th, the continued growth of the virus has made it obvious that this will not be possible.
Therefore, we have made the decision to cancel Sunday activities on April 5th. Additionally, and unfortunately, we have cancelled all of our Holy Week activities (Big Wednesday, Easter Egg Hunt, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday). We currently hope to be able to resume regular worship and activities on Easter Sunday, April 12th. However, recognizing that this is an extremely fluid situation, I encourage you to continue to check our website and our Facebook page for continued updates.
As noted in past update letters, our worship services will continue to be broadcast over the radio. They can also be found on our website along with guides to lead us through worship so that it can continue to be a corporate as possible. In addition to these regular Sunday services, I have begun to pull together some resources to aid us during Holy Week. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are important days and the joy of Easter would be incomplete if we did not observe them.
Therefore, on the Monday of Holy Week, April 6th, I will be sending out via email (and posting on Facebook and our website) a finger labyrinth. This labyrinth will include, scripture readings, prayers, and artwork to guide us through the Stations of the Cross as we prepare for Easter.
Additionally, on Maundy Thursday, April 9th, I will be hosting a Facebook Live communion service on the MBC Facebook page. For this service, we will follow the liturgy of the Great Thanksgiving, which is used by Protestant denominations around the world. This liturgy will be available on our website and Facebook page. If you plan to join me for Maundy Thursday, I encourage you have crackers/bread and juice/wine prepared so that we can eat the elements of grace together.
Finally, I have asked Dr. Mike Alston to share a few words about this virus and the pandemic it is causing:
Lane asked me to update church members about the evolving coronavirus pandemic from a medical point of view. It is certainly a life changing, rapidly evolving situation with an overwhelming amount of information for all of us to digest. We are seeing more cases in our county and surrounding counties and this is certainly going to increase; to what extent remains to be seen. It is likely that all of our state will be asked to shelter in place soon.
Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, and many medical practices, are now primarily using telephone/virtual visits to limit patients and providers from exposure to illness. I suspect this will be the way most of medical care will be for the foreseeable future, excluding acute care and emergencies. The current CDC guidelines recommend that people with mild symptoms of illness, like fever and cough remain at home and treat their symptoms as they normally would for a viral respiratory illness.
The vast majority of people who get COVID-19 will recover without needing medical care. Most people don’t need to have a test for COVID-19 or even need to be seen in person, but you should contact your healthcare provider if you are not sure what to do. People at higher risk due to age or serious medical problems and people with more severe symptoms, need to definitely call their doctor or call 911.
The most important things to remember are to stay at home as much as possible, use good hand washing, clean high touch areas in your homes with household disinfectants, social distancing if you do have to leave home and self-isolation if you are sick. But continue to get outside and be as active as you are able and maintain contact with others by phone or social media. I am available by phone (398-3851) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if I can be of help.
We are God’s people, now and always. So, may we continue to seek God, may we continue to love one another, and may we continue to do the Kingdom work of the gospel. I hope and pray that we might soon be together once again.
Grace & Peace,