March 5, 2020
American Baptists are encouraged to be in prayer for those affected by COVID-19, the coronavirus. As new cases of the coronavirus are reported in other countries and have recently been rising across the United States, I ask that you join me in praying for the recovery of those who are ill, the medical teams caring for the sick and, for those who are working to contain the virus.
I encourage you to use the below practices provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze.
- Routinely clean frequently touched objects.
- Maintain at least 3 feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
- Avoid shaking hands and encourage the congregation to greet one another with a smile and a hand over their hearts as a symbol of Christian love.
- Have hand sanitizer available for communion servers to use prior to distributing the elements. You may want to consider using individual cups and pieces of bread rather than a common cup and loaf of bread.
Read more about action taken previously by International Ministries here.
Dr. C. Jeff Woods,
Acting General Secretary
American Baptist Churches USA