March 1, 2020

Dear Wellspring Ohana and Friends,

On Friday afternoon I was at Sam’s Club trying to stock up on the usual caregiving supplies for my 98 year old uncle: gloves, wipes, hand sanitizer, and some toilet supplies. I left with none of these except a 3 pack of Clorox. The aisles were littered with empty boxes and I was too late to get the usual supplies. News reporters had instructed everyone to stock up in case of an outbreak of the corona virus (COVID-19) in Hawaii.

Then, this past week I met with a long time client who will often greet me with a hug. However, this week she said, “I’m not going to hug you because I’m paranoid of this corona virus”. I get it. She was being cautious and careful with less contact. I even told my daughter this week, “if you have to sneeze or cough, do it against your arm or people will run away from you.” I got a funny look from her that said, “geez, mom”!

In the world around us, there is a looming fear as COVID-19, works its way throughout the world, impacting the way we do life now. Travel restrictions. A volatile stock market that’s been more down than up. An uncertain economy. And no vaccine yet to stop COVID-19.

Our challenge with COVID-19 is to live carefully, cautiously, and considerately, and not let the stronghold of fear win. It begins with us. This is why we’ve taken steps here at Wellspring to respond to your unspoken concerns, and hope that it puts you at ease to continue doing life here at Wellspring. You’ll see hand sanitizers on a regular basis. On days of potluck and communion, we’ll ask you to sanitize your hands before proceeding down the food line or up the communion aisle. We’ll have masks in case you feel a little something coming on and want to protect others. We’ll remind you to “keep calm and wash your hands”.

We’re an affectionate church so during this season, please be understanding if friendly fist bumps, beaming smiles, and warm greetings of “hello, I’m glad you’re here” are substituted for the usual hug and handshake. In these kind of times, the support of one another and continuing to be engaged in life carefully, cautiously, and considerately, matter. The one hand that we can hold on to without any fear of COVID-19 is God’s hand, as we learn more and face this together. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

May God’s Peace be your peace,

Pastor Cheryl,

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