Pilgrim Worship Update in Light of COVID -19 (Coronavirus)

Dear Pilgrim Baptist Church Family,
As your pastor, your health, safety and well-being are extremely important to me. The Pilgrim Baptist Church leadership and I, through prayer, our reliance on God, and professional health organizations have developed precautions to help our congregation remain healthy and safe as we contend with COVID-19, also referred to as Coronavirus.
We are regularly monitoring and following the recommended guidelines of the Minnesota Department of Health website which is routinely updated: www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/mdh.html
With due diligence, we are instituting the following:
● Increasing our efforts by raising our standards for maintaining a clean environment to ensure your enjoyment of the worship and fellowship experiences. This means all surfaces in the church are regularly sanitized – from door handles to light switches to microphones, counter tops and more.
● Added antibacterial hand sanitizing containers in the following locations:
○ Fellowship Hall
○ Restrooms
○ At every entrance into the Sanctuary
● Ensuring our maintenance staff keep restrooms properly stocked with soap, paper towels and have wastebaskets placed by restroom doors for paper towel disposal after one opens the restroom door.
● Being vigilant in keeping watch over our seniors who are, according to the CDC and MDH, the most vulnerable.
During worship service, Sunday School, and Bible Study:
● Dispensing with hand holding during altar call and the benediction
● Practice social distancing when greeting one another by refraining from hugging, kissing or shaking hands. Instead, show your love through fist bumps or by touching elbows
● However – if you choose to hug, do so at your discretion
● Ensure hand sanitizer use when entering/leaving the church building
What we can do as individuals:
● Follow CDC guidelines and wash our hands for at least 20 seconds.
● Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available. But if your hands are soiled, especially after using the restroom, soap and water should be used.
● When sneezing or coughing, do so into your elbow.
● Use tissues.
● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
● Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
● Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
● Stay away from work, school, and other activities, including worship, if you have any of these symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath, or other respiratory indications. Please stay home if you are sick.
● Frail congregants over the age of 65, or any persons with underlying conditions – cancer, diabetes, kidney, lung or liver disease, may wish to forgo large gatherings including attending worship services.
● The CDC does not recommend the use of masks unless you are sick. The mask is used to prevent the individual who is not feeling well from spreading potential illness to others
● In the event you are unable to attend worship, due to your health concerns please look for us on a social media platform, to be advised. In addition, please continue to be faithful in your stewardship through online giving.

Our church leadership and I will continue to update you, as we recognize this is a rapidly evolving situation that may impact our scheduled church activities and events. Please check email, the church website and social media, for additional communications from me and church leadership. In case the need arises, we are actively planning alternatives for services, meetings and other gatherings. Remember, God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and of self-discipline. II Timothy 1:7/ NIV

With Pastoral Love,
Dr. Charles L. Gill

Psalm 91:9-11/NIV  9) If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10) no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11) For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways…”