Suggested Guidelines for Attending Live Service at SGC
Martin Luther, when faced with an epidemic in his own day (hundreds of years before any knowledge of bacteria or virus), responded so wisely:
“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.” (Volume 43, Pg. 132: Whether One Should Flee From A Deadly Plague – To Rev. Dr. John Hess).
As such we want to be wise and we want to walk by faith. We want to be sensitive to the weak and vulnerable and we don't want to be driven by fear. We want to exercise reasonable human responsibility and be driven by faith in God for our future. We want to know when risk is right and when risk is foolish. In light of these healthy tensions that we are called to hold, we offer the following guidelines for helping people decide for themselves if they should attend or join the live stream from home.
We recommend that the following people stay at home and join our service via the live stream if ANY of the following are true: (1) a person is presently experiencing one or more of the symptoms below, (2) a person has experienced one or more of the symptoms below at any time in the last 7 days, OR (3) a person has used medication in the past 72 hours to remain free of one or more of the symptoms below:
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing,
- chills or repeated shaking with chills,
- muscle pain,
- sore throat,
- recent loss of taste or smell,
- feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
- Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have Covid-19
For clarity, here are some examples:
- Example A: Mary has not had any of the above symptoms for the last 3 days and cannot recall the last time she did. Mary is welcome to attend the live service.
- Example B: Joe has not had any of the above symptoms for the last 3 days but he did have a cough that he thinks was allergy-related and it went away about 5 days ago. Joe should stay home because he has not be symptom free for 7 days.
- Example C: James has had a sore throat only for the last two James should stay home.
Additionally, anyone meeting any of the criteria (1) through (4) below is considered to be at risk and should consider staying home and joining our service via the live stream. As much as we would love to have them join us, attending a live service involves a higher degree of risk for these individuals. Ultimately each person must make the decision they feel is wisest for their own health and well-being.
- Anyone with compromised immune systems
- Anyone with major underlying medical conditions
- Anyone over 65 years of age
- Anyone under 12 months of age
Anyone meeting criteria (1) and/or (2) below is encouraged to stay home and join the service via the live stream to best protect others.
- Anyone who has travelled in the last 14 days to a high-risk domestic area reporting elevated numbers of active COVID-19 cases
- Anyone who has travelled internationally in the last 14 days
If anyone is unsure if his or her symptoms, conditions, or recent travel fall under the above categories, please email Allen Dicharry for more information and guidance on whether it is best to come or stay home.
Let us view returning to church in two ways. This an exciting opportunity that we’ve all been looking forward to, which means we can approach it with joy and faith expecting God to meet us as we gather. It will also be an opportunity for those of us who meet the stay-home criteria to lay down our rights and preferences as an expression of care and love for others and the broader community. May each of us walk in humility – guarding against the pride that assumes omniscience about the situation, insisting on its own rights and disregarding the fears and real vulnerabilities of others. May we do as the Holy Spirit commands us in Gal. 5:13: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
We look forward to being together!
SGC Medical Advisory Team
Phil Claybrooke RN, BSN, APRN-FNP-C
Allen Dicharry, RN, BSN, CRRN
Erika Truex, RN
Cara Owens, RN