On Sunday, March 15th, we provided a printed sheet for our members. These are the precautions that we are taking so far. The leadership of our congregation and I are staying on top of the updates from the CDC to assess regarding our services for the coming weeks. I’ll post more info when it’s ready. I welcome any feedback by calling me on my cell phone at (626) 419-7614 (or by text message). You may also email me at pastorcourie [at] gmail.com. (Of course, retype my email address with the “@” symbol – this spelling is merely to reduce spam from bots that scan our site for email addresses.)
Coronavirus Precautions at Our Redeemer
- No hand shaking: I will continue to be available to greet you after the service, but let’s refrain from shaking hands.
- Washing Hands: We remind everyone to wash their hands thoroughly before the service, during the service as needed, and after the service. Please note: While alcohol-based cleansers can kill the Coronavirus, any sanitizer or cleanser with under 60% alcohol (or no alcohol) is not effective.
- The Chalice/Common Cup: Our chalice is brass (an alloy of copper and zinc) and overlaid with gold. When these come into contact with alcohol, germs and other bacteria are killed. While it may be unnecessary, we are implementing three extra precautions with the chalice:
- At least temporarily, we are switching our communion wine to a fortified wine (Port) with 20% alcohol content (our other wine is only 11%);
- We will be soaking our white purificators (the white communion cloths) in a 95% grain alcohol and will use them to wipe the rim of the chalice as per usual. This will ensure the outside of the chalice is sterile like the inside.
- When partaking, do not touch the rim of the chalice, but use your hand only on the base of the chalice to help Pastor guide it to your mouth.
- The Individual Glass Cups: Those who use the glass cups to partake of the blood need to know that wine/alcohol does not react with glass like it does with the metals of the chalice; however, the alcohol in the communion wine, especially the fortified wine should create a sterile environment in the glass. While the individual cups are prepared carefully, the fact is that glass does not repel germs or viruses and the individual cups are handled more during preparation and distribution. The greatest risk for contamination with individual cups is having numerous people reach in to grab a cup and brushing the other cups with their hands. Keep in mind, with the glass cups, the rim is the danger zone. With that in mind, we will begin implementing the following precaution: for those partaking of the individual cups, you will no longer take the cup out of the tray yourself; Pastor or the communion assistant will hand it to you. We do not want any more people touching the rims of those glasses than necessary or anyone to touch them who hasn’t just sanitized his hands.
- Communion Assistants/Distribution: Pastor and the communion assistant(s) will clean their hands thoroughly with hand sanitizer prior to distributing the Sacrament of the Altar. A small bowl of 95% grain alcohol will also be available near the altar for them to cleanse their hands after using hand sanitizer and throughout distribution, as needed.
- If you have flu or cold symptoms, please stay home and call Pastor so he may find a way to get the Gospel to you. Do not hesitate to call Pastor; he wants and needs to hear from you.