by: NJ District LCMS Parish Nurse Colleen Bottcher RN, BSN, FCN
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV): "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
It is important for all congregations to follow the daily CDC recommendations, as well as be in contact with their local Health Departments regarding local exposures, as well as individual borough guidelines. The CDC is developing recommendations and guidelines on a daily and sometimes hourly basis, as we learn more about the novel coronavirus each day. One helpful way for a congregation to follow these guidelines is to develop a task force to promote wellness, safety and proper adherence to these guidelines. Communications can occur via phone, and zoom meetings to ensure safe distancing.
As the body of Christ, we are called to share God's love and care for one another, especially our medically fragile church members. Calling our members who may live alone, or have little access to assistance is vital. Having a team who can call members, make meals, and deliver the meals are all helpful. When delivering meals, to maintain health and adequate distance, the person delivering does not have to enter the home.
If churches do remain open for administrative hours, they should continue to be thoroughly cleaned. Cleaning highly utilized surfaces, such as faucets, doorknobs, light switches, phones, and bathroom surfaces, several times a day with a cleanser approved to fight coronavirus. Wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds, and maintain 6 feet of safe distance. Stay home if you are ill!
Additional wellness recommendations:
- Exercise daily! Daily walks to get fresh air and relieve stress! Go for a bike ride or long hike. You can exercise outside, and still maintain a safe social distance.
- Holy Yoga is being offered several times a week via Zoom. If you would like to participate, please email Colleen Bottcher at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Zoom log in codes for Virtual Holy Yoga.
- Maintain a regular sleep and meal schedule during this 14 day or longer period of isolation. Keep a prayer journal. Develop a phone prayer chain. We are in Lent, a time where God draws us nearer to Him, remain in His Word, and share His Word with others!
- If you have to go out to the grocery store or retailer, call ahead. Many retailers are reducing their hours, and some retailers in NJ are offering specific hours for older shoppers who are medically compromised.
Colleen Bottcher RN, BSN, FCN
NJ District LCMS Parish Nurse