|ALL in-person events and group gatherings are cancelled until further notice. |
This includes worship, here and at Wesley Memorial UMC, next door.
*Check back next week for online gatherings.*
I know this isn’t how we thought spring break would go. I know this louses up a lot of cherished and long-anticipated plans. I know how much I will miss being with you all in person in the coming weeks.
And I know that we can handle it. Or, as Wesley student president Justice Allen put it, “While this is definitely a mess, I know we can find some good ways to stay in ministry.”
Though it’s surprising-inconvenient-scary-isolating, all of this is one of the ways we continue to live out our call to ministry by loving our neighbors. Practicing careful personal hygiene and “social distancing” is something every single one of us can do every day. (See the links and reminders, below.) Sometimes loving our neighbors looks like actively trying to slow down a disease raging through communities around the world.
To put it another way, “Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body” (I Corinthians 12:14-16). We are connected to one another as human beings, each one a child of God and made in the image of God. Some of us and some of the people we love are those who fall into the categories of people especially vulnerable to this virus. Some of us are those who fall into the less vulnerable categories. We belong to one another. We owe it to the entire community—the whole body—to look out for and care for one another. It may take some time to get there in our thinking, but the sacrifices of this semester are best understood in this context.
Justice is right. Wesley will continue to be in ministry with one another from a distance. Student leaders are meeting (online) before online-classes begin and will update you next week about our new weekly schedule and online hangouts. Wesley is still here for you and for any other students who are feeling the need for extra community: please invite friends to join our email list and/or share our online links with folks you know.
And I am still here for you. I will be setting up “online office hours” when you can “stop by” and talk informally via phone or computer. I will also continue to be available for one-on-one pastoral conversation (via phone or computer). I won’t be able to buy you a coffee but we can both drink a cup while we chat;) Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to talk—I know all of this is a lot to process.
Please take extra good care of yourself and your loved ones, and look out for others in your neighborhood who may need some extra help right now. And wash those hands!
Rev. Deborah Lewis
Director & Campus Minister
#LoveYourNeighbor #FlattenTheCurve #OneBody #HelloZoom #WesleyUVA #UMC
|Basic guidelines for ALL during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic|
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday to yourself twice), especially before preparing or eating food and after using the bathroom.
Use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) when soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching your face (eyes, ears, nose, especially).
If you cough/sneeze/blow your nose, do so into a tissue or the crease of your elbow. Then wash your hands again, as described above.
Keep your hands moisturized. (They will become chapped from all the washing and viruses can enter the damaged skin in those places.)
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If you are sick, stay home.
Clean and disinfect “high-touch” items (doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, cell phones, keyboards, etc.) and surfaces (desk, table, countertop, etc.) with a household cleaning spray or wipe.
The CDC does not recommend using a face mask to protect yourself—unless you are already sick, in order to protect others.
The main symptoms of the novel coronavirus are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing these, call your health care provider immediately.
Please be aware that the suspected incubation period for this virus is 2 weeks, which means anyone can be in contact with many other people while appearing to be well.