Dear Christian friends,
Although South Australia has not yet seen widespread community transmission of COVID-19, we have asked the congregations in our parish to consider some simple practical changes to reduce its possible spread. Considering the number of members in our parish who are in the higher risk categories in relation to this virus, we believe it prudent to act. Reducing the risk to our neighbours is also in keeping with the fifth commandment, which Luther explains:
You shall not murder. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not hurt or harm our neighbour in his body, but help and support him in every physical need.
Following advice from the LCA Churchwide office and from SA Health, we will not be cancelling regular worship services at this time. In your congregation you may see some or all of the following changes:
No handshakes to greet attendees before or after services
No passing of the peace
No tea & coffee after the service
Offering bowls placed in the church entrance instead of being passed around during the service
Encouragement to stand during communion to reduce the number of people touching the altar rail
A separate receptacle for used individual communion cups, so you are not returning them to the tray
Possible suspension of celebrating Holy Communion
If you are unwell in any way, the best way to love your neighbour is to stay home. You may choose to remain connected to God's Word through watching the live stream worship services available from some congregations within the LCA or by requesting a copy of the DVD recording of the Eudunda service. Printed copies of my sermons can also be made available upon request. Home communion is also available for members unable to attend worship.
As circumstances change so may our response. We will endeavour to communicate any further changes as promptly as possible.
May you find hope and peace in Christ alone,
Pastor Joshua Muller
(on behalf of the Parish Council of Eudunda Robertstown Lutheran Parish)