Saturday morning update:
As you may already know, it was announced Friday evening that Montana now has 4 active cases of the COVID-19 virus with one being a person in Gallatin County. It was reported this morning that this individual likely contracted it while traveling internationally and had been limiting his exposure by staying at home as much as possible. The Gallatin Valley Health Department is still classifying the public risk in Bozeman as low. Kudos to this individual for their caution and regard for the community and while we don't know his name, we ask God to grant healing and a full recovery to this person.
At this time, we will remain closely tuned to any further developments. It is important that we all do our part to help prevent respiratory illnesses from spreading in our communities. If you are experiencing fever, chills, cough or shortness of breath, we encourage you to stay at home and worship with us by utilizing the livestream and recorded sermons and Bible Studies here on our website. Also, remember to wash your hands with soap frequently, cover your coughs and sneezes, and use hand sanitizer.
Friday, March 13th
Dear Friends in Christ,
We're seeing a number of important changes in our world due to the COVID-19 pandemic: restrictions on travel, conferences and sporting events are on hold, and yesterday we learned that the Montana University System will largely switch to online classes following next week's spring break. We live in interesting times!
At FLC, we turn to prayer and preparation rather than panic: "I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'" (Psalm 91). We remain open for worship and ministry - if you have any health issues, please contact the church office with any needs and prayer requests. During worship, both individual and common cup will continue to be available at the communion rail. If you wish to refrain from shaking hands during the sharing of the peace, that's okay - a friendly wave and a smile also convey that fellowship.
If you are feeling unwell or are considered "at risk" and decide that staying home is warranted, you're still able to worship with us! Our worship services and Sunday Bible study are broadcast live on our website each week and we post recordings of the sermons and Bible studies online for those who are ill or traveling. We will continue to use email, social media and announcements at church to let you know of any important developments. If you ever need assistance in using these electronic resources, don't hesitate to reach out to me!
I'll close this out with some prevention tips from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and a helpful graphic sent out to us by the LCMS office in St. Louis:
"Montana state and local public health officials are monitoring the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation very closely.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, you can take simple steps to protect yourself, your family and the community:
- Stay home if you’re sick,
- Avoid contact with sick people when possible,
- Cover your cough and sneezes with the crook of your elbow or a tissue
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t access soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe."
Yours in Christ,
Chairman, Lay Leader Board