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Recommendations for Responding to Coronavirus

March 11, 2020

Dear First Plymouth Community,

As we continue our Lenten journey of “Wilding the Wilderness” together, now more than ever, we are called to live into the deepest truths our faith tradition upholds:

  • love of Neighbor 
  • care of the sick and vulnerable, 
  • that the last shall be first and the first shall be last

As we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not being seen.“ With uncertainty on the rise, as a global health crisis is readily emerging, faith communities have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us, and with the novel status of this virus, more is unknown than known. The United Church of Christ is the “Church of Firsts;” taking unpopular stances is in our DNA. First Plymouth Church takes seriously the call to lead the way to freedom in the face of fear, to provide care and connection when we suffer loss. Thus, we have thoughtfully discussed with public health professionals, physicians and nurses, elders in our most vulnerable demographic, church leaders, and members at large, and feel confident that the following recommendations will equip us to continue our care and support of our beloved community.

Prayers for peace and calm in the days ahead,

Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas

Recommendations for Responding to Coronavirus

Based on the recommendations from the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Church of Christ and the First Plymouth lay/staff coronavirus pandemic response task-force, First Plymouth will hold ALL Sunday worship services via Livestream in place of physically gathering together for the remainder of March. Also, all FPCC and community meetings scheduled for Saturday, March 14 – Sunday, March 29, have been canceled. As we learn more about the health and stability of our community, the task-force will reconvene to recommend further advice. This suspension of worship services and meetings held at First Plymouth may continue beyond March. First Plymouth Learning Center is on Spring Break next week, but a decision will be made in the coming days about the Learning Center’s March class operating schedule.

There is a lot we do not know about this disease, and we are all learning about the nature and extent of what we will be facing in the coming days. As a faith community, we are very concerned about the isolation that may occur for many of our members and how the most vulnerable in our community are protected. The Web of Care will be reaching out to all active members and there will be special Sunday webcasts offered by the worship team. In addition, Pastor Jenny and Dr. Shakib Hassan will be presenting a Facebook webcast, “The Pastor and the Doctor,” on Thursday (3/12) at 1:00 PM that addresses questions many may have about the novel coronavirus and the emerging pandemic.

In addition to practicing good personal hygiene such as frequent hand-washing, covering sneezes and cleaning your living spaces, most knowledgeable scientific advisors are suggesting that “Social Distancing” is the most effective social gathering strategy to minimize the spread of coronavirus:

  •         avoid large gatherings;
  •         maintain at least 6 feet between people at any small gatherings;
  •         if you have any symptoms, avoid crowds and,
  •         contact your health care providers via phone instead of going to their clinic or
    hospital. They will give you instructions about testing if you need it. Going in will only
    spread the virus to others.

There will be further communication from First Plymouth as we learn more, and circumstances evolve.

Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas                                                Dr. Shakib Hassan

Carol Hainsey                                                                        Dr. Bob Henderson

Joel Rinsema                                                                         Dr. Rush Pierce

Kim Wooldridge                                                                   Adrienne Glenn

Phil Thompson                                                                     Beth Irtz, RN

Ken Hoagland                                                                       Rev. Anthony Scott

Alix Wright