Last Sunday I was shaking hands with people as they came in for worship. Someone brought up the coronavirus outbreak, and I said that until we had confirmed cases in Florida we would continue as usual. The next day we heard there were 2 cases in the Tampa Bay area. That's how quickly things can change.
COVID-19 is a new virus that has spread quickly from China, and was first confirmed in the US on February 25. We want to let everyone know that we are taking precautions here at Atonement. We don't want to be unfriendly, but for now we will not be shaking hands or holding hands in worship. We ask people who are sick to please stay home and take care of yourself. For those who have concerns about holy communion, those who prefer not to take the wine are assured that the sacrament is still received fully if you just take the host. We want to remind everyone who may be sick that you can watch the service live from home through our live stream on the home page (discoveralc.com).
We will be doing our best to comply with recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, and we hope you do as well. This means avoiding close contact with sick people, covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and disinfecting surfaces that may be contaminated with germs. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizers are also good to use as a backup.
We have your safety in mind at Atonement, and are doing what we can to keep us all well. Please remember as well that this is Daylight Savings weekend, and that we will be "springing forward" and moving our clocks up Saturday night. God bless you all & stay well!