Dear Family & Friends of Sedona UMC:

I wanted to write to you today to talk a bit about the Corona Virus (Covid-19) fears that are currently prevalent in our communities today. The World Health Organization reports that 80% of the people infected experience a “mild cases/symptoms” (cough and low-grade fever, tiredness). There have been 124,000 people affected globally with 1300 of those in the United States. Arizona has seen 9 cases thus far (5 in one family). The representative stated the best defense is “Hand Hygiene”.

I want us to be prudent in trying to mitigate the possible spread of this virus. As mentioned, reports are that for most who have been affected, it is much like a mild cold and recovery is fairly quick. Others who may be more susceptible to illness (weakened immune systems or health conditions) may experience much more serious effects and should take necessary precautions. We are still deep into the flu season which, I believe, is currently even a greater threat.

I want you to know we are taking these concerns very seriously and keeping up with latest reporting and expert recommendations as to actions to be taken. We will continue to monitor updates and make necessary decisions and adjustments accordingly. We are in regular consultation with the DSW Conference, medical professionals, and state officials. On Friday, March 13, there is a DHS (Department of Health Services) briefing for faith communities and social service agencies which will provide us more guidance on anticipated state action in this current situation. I plan to attend this briefing.

A reminder of some steps we are taking, and you should take to help you stay well:

1. We are planning a normal schedule for worship—9:30 service.

2. Fellowship Time will only have store bought which will be served by gloved servers to improve hygiene. All fellowship baked items, fruit and vegi’s will be store bought as well until further notice.

3. We are wiping down and sanitizing/disinfecting all public surfaces such as tables, pews, chairs, sinks, toilets, doorknobs, kitchen surfaces, etc. between each activity/group.

4. During Worship, please consider not using hymnals or bibles for now instead relying on the power point during the service.

5. Please minimize contact with others (no hugs or handshakes for now) and be sure to take advantage of the hand sanitizer (available around the church) in addition to washing your hands regularly with warm water (anti-bacterial soap in all bathrooms). Follow our hospital procedure: “sanitize in – sanitize out then wash.”

6. If you are sick (not feeling 100%), please stay home!!!

7. If you have a compromised immune system, seek your doctor’s instructions and use your own common sense in interacting with large groups of people. Be responsible.

8. You can always get a copy of the sermon and listen later. Call Jenny to get a copy.

The situation is fluid as more information becomes available, I will share them with you immediately. As needed, we will respond to help and provide as safe an environment as possible. Please help us by doing your part in using good hygiene practices.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Fred