Coronavirus and Church
Since the spread of coronavirus throughout the world and confirmed cases in the United States, I have talked to friends and colleagues on the mainland who have cancelled church due to the virus. I have also been approached by people at our church who are wondering if we are going to change the way we do things in order to stay healthy.
Our Deacons discussed this at our meeting last week and decided to continue having worship services and our regularly scheduled communion. If people begin getting sick on Kauai, we will likely change to another way of distributing the elements or stop serving communion altogether until the virus in under control. I also talked to Penny Osuga about Aloha Hour, which will continue until further notice.
In the meantime, here are some suggestions which should apply whenever you are at church, even without the coronavirus:
- If you are feeling sick (or even if you feel like you might be coming down with something), stay home and do not attend church. You can ask Penny Osuga to send you a copy of the bulletin as an email attachment and you can watch the message (sermon) almost every week online.
- If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth completely and face away from people and food.
- Wash your hands before eating, touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
- Wash your hands before preparing or serving food, and before touching cooking, serving or eating utensils.
- Consider hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Please wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before Aloha Hour. I’ve asked Penny to look into having hand sanitizer available for people as they enter Moore Hall.
- After washing your hands in a public restroom, use a paper towel when touching faucets, light switches and door handles.
- When greeting others at church or “passing the peace” at the end of the worship service, feel free to refrain from touching if you feel so inclined. If someone attempts to shake your hand or hug you, you can politely say, “I am not touching people during flu season.”
- During the closing song (The Queen’s Prayer), feel free to touch elbows rather than holding hands.
- When being served communion, hold open both hands so that I can place a piece of bread in your hands with out touching them. When dipping your bread in the cup, hold the bread at one end and dip the other end of the bread into the cup just enough to get a few drops of juice without touching the juice with your fingers.
- Parents, please be responsible for your children.
- Use common sense.
If there are any changes due to the spread of the virus, I will send an email to everyone as soon as those changes are made. Let us pray for individuals, families and communities who have been affected by illness…and for an end of the coronavirus.
Kahu Alan Akana
Smith Memorial Parsonage
3281 Waikomo Road in Koloa
6 p.m. Wednesdays
Through April 1
This Week: Chapter 3
“Getting Real: From Illusion to Reality”
We will begin with a simple bread and soup supper, followed by a time of discussion and reflection based on the reading for the week from Parker Palmer’s book, On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old. You don’t need to read the book, but if you want to follow along and spend some time reflecting on your own during Lent, there will be 10 copies of the book (while supplies last) on the Deacon’s cabinet in church beginning this Sunday. Just leave $15 cash or a check if you want to take a book.
Please contact the church office or sign up on the Lenten Soup Supper sheet on the bulletin board at church for the Wednesdays you plan to attend! We want to make sure we make enough soup for everyone.
MEN’S BREAKFAST The men of the church are enjoying their weekly breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at Kalapaki Joe’s in Poipu every Tuesday except the 4th Tuesday of the month. Church breakfasts for men and women are on the 4th Tuesday of every month, 7:30 a.m. at Holoholo Grill in the Koloa Landing Complex.
CHURCH ENSEMBLE Singers are invited to practice a song this Sunday, March 15, at 10 a.m., to be sung during the worship service. Join the monthly church ensemble under the leadership of Fay Bartels. The song this Sunday will be: “God Loved the World so that He Gave.”
COCONUT WIRELESS Click HERE to see the latest issue of the Coconut Wireless (the weekly e-news from the Hawai`i Conference of the United Church of Christ).
LECTIONARY READINGS (Old & New Testament Readings for the Week) Each week, Christians throughout the world read biblical passages from the Revised Common Lectionary, including the Old Testament, Psalms, New Testament, and Gospels. After three years, a good portion of the Bible is included and the cycle begins again. RCL passages are often read in church worship services, and Kahu Akana usually includes at least one of them on the following Sunday. This week’s readings are Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-11; John 4:5-42.
“Weekly News of the Church” is provided by Koloa Union Church, an Open and Affirming (ONA) Congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a member of the Kauai Association and Hawaii Conference. Please contact the church office if you would like to have our weekly news sent directly to your inbox. Join us at 3289 Poipu Road in Koloa!