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Responding to the Coronavirus

March 5, 2020
preached by
Pastor Brandon Johnston

The elders of Coram Deo Church have been prayerfully considering how we ought to respond to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that has recently arisen in Washington State. At this point, a number of people in our state have tested positive for the virus and a significantly fewer number have died. In the midst of suffering, God’s people need to remember that He is sovereign over all things and that He is our strength and refuge in times of need. We trust Him to care for our bodies and souls as our loving Father.

While it doesn’t appear that we need to take drastic measures at this time, the elders and leaders of Coram Deo Church are taking a number of cautionary steps as we look ahead to our gatherings this week.

Below are some of the ways that we are preparing and would ask that you join us:

At all times, the primary posture of God’s people ought to be one of prayer. Any time that we are reminded of our weakness and need, we should remember that our health and lives are gracious gifts from our Creator. We invite you to pray for God’s hand of provision and healing throughout our community, particularly in light of the anxiety that many of our friends and neighbors are currently experiencing.

We will continue to gather for worship on Sundays and meet for additional events throughout the week. Currently, there is no recommendation from any public health agency to avoid meeting in large groups and we don’t see a need to cancel any of our regularly scheduled events at this time.

According to many health experts, the best way to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands. We encourage you and your family to make use of the wash stations around the building on Sunday to minimize the spread of germs.

This week, we will be performing a routine deep clean of all the kids’ classrooms. (If you would like to help serve in this way, please reach out to our Children’s Ministry Director, Krysta Kogut, at kids@coramdeochurch.org) We regularly clean all of our kids’ areas multiple times a week following the CDC’s best practice guidelines for the sanitization of public spaces. 

Additionally, Coram Deo has a “well-child policy” for all kids’ ministry activities. If a child has: 1. An elevated temperature within the last 24 hours, 2. Common cold accompanied by colored nose discharge, or 3. A contagious infection such as pink eye, strep, chickenpox, lice, etc., we ask that parents keep them at home for the well-being of other children and teachers. 

We actively monitor all classes for illness throughout the morning on Sundays. If a child shows any of the above signs of illness, we will remove them from their classroom and page their parent to come to pick them up.

While we will be taking every reasonable precaution to prevent the spread of any illnesses in our classrooms, it is ultimately up to the parents as to whether or not to place your children in classes. Kids of all ages are always welcome in the sanctuary to worship with the adults at any time.

When we gather, scripture commands us to greet one another with brotherly love. Be mindful that some people in our church have compromised immune systems and will be wary of shaking your hand. Please be considerate of this reality as you interact with one another this week. Handshakes are not required but loving each other is.

Because we serve gluten-free communion elements, we already have strict procedures in place to limit contamination. The bread is transferred directly from the box to the serving bowl and is then covered with plastic wrap until it is time to take communion together. When we’re done, the elements are removed and replaced with fresh ones for the next service.

Those who have flu-like symptoms should stay home and avoid group gatherings to minimize the spread of ANY viral illness until you are symptom-free for 24 hours. For those who are developing fevers with flu-like symptoms, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

If you need to stay home, you can still participate on Sunday morning as we live-stream our worship services. If you normally prefer to tithe in person, you can also give online through our website or app.

If you or anyone in your family test positive for COVID-19, please alert us as soon as possible.

Sadly, in the midst of a fallen, sinful world, we are always in a position where we need to exercise caution and pursue safety. We look forward to the day when God will wipe away every tear, bringing an end to sin and its effects but until then, thank you for your help as we attempt to act wisely together as a church family.

In Christ,

Pastor Brandon


Brandon leads Coram Deo's staff, operations, and community ministries. He and his wife live in Bremerton. He loves woodworking and spending time with friends and family.

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