Clean hands, open hearts

Michael Bishop 16 Mar 2020 sunday blog  corona 

What more can possibly be said about the coronavirus? We remember other infectious diseases (Ebola, SARS, Swine Flu) and we vaguely remember the panic they caused at the time, but the present crisis does seem pretty all-consuming at the moment, doesn’t it?

Listening to conversations about COVID-19 (which, I discovered this week, is short for COrona VIrus Disease 2019) I’m encouraged to hear many people calling for us to calm down and be sensible. Dr Abdhu Sharkawy, a Canadian Infectious Diseases Specialist writes:

I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education. We have an opportunity to learn a great deal about health hygiene and limiting the spread of innumerable transmissible diseases in our society. Let’s meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek truth, facts and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing. Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts. Our children will thank us for it.

May we all be sensible and considerate of others during these anxious times. In addition to our own sensible actions, we are invited to “cast all your anxiety on him, for he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

This post appeared first in the pew notices on Sunday. Later on Sunday we heard President Ramaphosa outlining various sensible measures which will be taken as we act to prevent the spread of this virus. These will have an impact on how our community gathers and will call from some creative responses! We are determined to be together during this period of Lent (even if being physically in the same space will not be possible to the same extent). Look out for more from us this week as we plan a creative, sensible, God-honouring response to this call from our government.

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I’m sorry to be missing you all this morning, but we have a circuit service in Tongaat this morning as Rev Lifa Songwiqi (whom some of you may have met or seen in the church office if you come in during the week) is being inducted and formally welcomed into the circuit this morning.

Please pray for Lifa today and also for this year as he settles in at Tongaat and Westbrook, while also preparing for his ordination in Kimberley later this year.

The service starts at 10am, so if you are reading this early enough you’re welcome to come across to Tongaat Methodist Church and join us. There may be biryani afterwards ...

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