Dear BCCUCC and friends,

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been hearing more and more about the spread of coronavirus outside of China and even into our country. This past Sunday it was confirmed that there are now a handful of cases here in Rhode Island. Linda and I wanted to reach out and share some of the steps that we are implementing at BCCUCC to hinder the spread of the disease while we gather for worship on Sundays. We know that our ultimate trust is in God and we are reminded numerous times through scripture to “not be afraid”, but there are still reasonable measures we can take to protect ourselves.BCCUCC Coronavirus Update

Therefore, for the time being:

  • We are inviting our greeters and one another to be aware of shaking hands during our greeting times. Sharing a greeting and passing the peace are important aspects of Christian Community. However, there are many other ways of sharing a greeting. A nod, a smile, warm words of welcome are meaningful ways of greeting one another. In this vein, Linda and I will also refrain from shaking hands following worship, choosing these other methods instead.
  • We will not be passing the offering plates through the pews. Since our pews are relatively short, our ushers will hold onto the plates during the collection. Please be mindful of others in your pew as they move to reach the plate.
  • During the Prayers of the People, we will not be passing microphones as we usually do, but instead, Linda and I will repeat your prayers for others to hear.
  • Feel free to stay home from worship if you are not feeling well. This should go without saying, but there are those who may need a little extra permission from Linda and me to “play hooky.” Believe me, God understands. If you do stay home, you can still listen to the sermons online and mail in your regular contributions to our ministries.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer. This is the best preventative measure for hindering the spread of illness. We have numerous bathrooms available throughout the education building and have hand sanitizer dispensers available in both the church and education buildings.

Linda, the church leadership, and I will all continue to monitor the recommendations from our health professionals as we move through this time. In the meantime, we will put our trust in God and continue to serve our church and community as we are called to do.

Blessings and peace to you all,

Rev. Dr. Dale Azevedo, Senior Minister

Dr. Linda Hartley, Associate Minister