Practicing Love: Reminders and Tips for Healthy Church Gatherings

Diversity and Inclusion
April 3, 2020
Notices and Information
January 1, 2023

Practicing Love: Reminders and Tips for Healthy Church Gatherings

Dear St. Francis Family,

The cold and flu season is upon us, not to mention a rise in cases of COVID-19 and increasing concerns about RSV (respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus). At the same time, in-person worship is still the central act of a Christian congregation, and we urge all of our members to attend worship in-person whenever possible. That said, it seems a good thing to remind ourselves that, in this season of higher risk, seemingly small acts of kindness can go a very long way to protecting the health of those with whom we worship on a regular basis.

Masks and hand sanitizer are always available for free in the Narthex for those who wish to use them. For those who feel ill, virtual worship is available both live and recorded. Please remember that each individual can experience infection differently. Although your symptoms from flu or COVID may be mild, your neighbor's experience may be much more severe. For the sake of others, when you are sick, always take thoughful, pro-active steps to help prevent the spread of illness. Whether you are attending worship, a fellowship event, or a small group gathering, always be conscious of the health and safety of others.

The tips and reminders below are borrowed from UnitedHealthcare. For more information, visit

Health and Blessings,
Fr. Kevin+
1. Don’t wait: Get vaccinated
The flu vaccine is safe and the CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu shot – and get it right away. Keep in mind that it will take your body about two weeks after vaccination to develop protection against the flu. Find a list of flu vaccine providers near you. It’s also a good time to check in to make sure you’re up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine and boosters.

2. Avoid spreading germs
To help avoid spreading germs, wash your hands regularly and cover your mouth (with the inside of your elbow or a tissue) when you cough or sneeze. A sneeze ejects thousands of viral particles into the air that can travel up to 25 feet in a matter of seconds.

3. Feeling symptoms? Get it checked out
If you think you might have the flu, even if you received a flu shot, call your primary care physician, visit a convenience care retail clinic, or schedule a virtual visit.

4. If you’re not feeling well, stay home
If you suspect you may be sick, stay home to prevent spreading it to others. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others with the flu one day before symptoms appear and up to seven days after becoming sick. With COVID-19, you may spread the virus starting 48 hours (two days) before you even have symptoms.

5. Know your risk level
The flu is of greatest concern for the very young, the very old or those with co-existing medical conditions. Here are some examples of groups at risk and the steps they should consider taking when symptoms begin:

Pregnant women should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms. People with diabetes, particularly those using insulin who develop difficult-to-control glucose levels, should contact their health care provider at first symptoms of the flu. Those with weakened immune systems should alert their health care provider of their flu symptoms. Those experiencing an increasing shortness of breath, especially people with chronic asthma or heart failure, should go to an emergency room for treatment.

Those with underlying medical conditions, older adults or those with weakened immune systems may be at higher risk for becoming very sick with COVID-19.

Make sure you know what to look for this fall and winter and when it’s time to see a doctor or go to an urgent care clinic before any illness becomes serious.