A Message from Pastor Brian

Members of the Covenant Churches and beloved Children of God,

EDITED: On Saturday, March 14 at 12:45 to include Bishop Girlinghouse’s second letter,

Like many of you, I have been struggling with the constant bombardment of news regarding the Corona virus, and what we should both as individuals and as a church. The world seems to be vastly different hour to hour. Thankfully, more resources and suggested best practices are being developed. Information and recommendations have come from Bishop Mike Girlinghouse from the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod (www.aokelca.org/ post/a-pastoral-letter-concerning-the-coronavirus) (www.aokelca.org/post/a-pastoral-letter-concerning-the-coronavirus-2) and Bishop Elizabeth Eaton from the ELCA Churchwide Office (www.elca.org/publichealth). I also participated in an online seminar on Friday called Ministry in the Time of Crisis. Based on the information I have; I am suggesting the following adjustments to what we do.

  • As we are in Lent, we should FAST FROM PHYSICAL CONTACT.
    • We should practice keeping a physical distance, not a social distance. Health organizations recommend keeping a distance of about 3 feet from anyone who may be ill. I suggest people sit in every other pew.
    • When we share the Peace of Christ, we should avoid physical contact. Elbow bumping is better than hand shaking, but brings people into close contact. I’m recommending we share the peace in a loud voice.
    • When we share Holy Communion, we should avoid physical contact. We should use individual cups, and I’m asking that trays be set up with glasses in every other space. I may wear gloves while distributing the bread. If you are concerned, please know that if you receive only one element (the bread or wine), you have received Christ.
    • When we share our Offering, we should avoid physical contact. An underappreciated possible contamination source is passing the offering plate. I recommend we rethink how to do this. We can put the offering plate(s) in a place and have people go to them during the service.
    • We should empty and cover the baptismal font. We can remember our baptism without putting our hands in shared water.
    • We will not reuse bulletins. New Wednesday bulletins will be printed.
  • While we fast from physical contact, we should INCREASE OUR SOCIAL CONTACTS.
    • Bishop Eaton recommends churches pick a time each day to gather in prayer. I am asking that people take time to be in prayer at 9 o’CLOKC, 3 o’CLOKC and 9o’CLOKC each day.
      I will publish a general set of prayers by Sunday, and ask that people join together in prayer around those times. If you forget, or miss it, please pray when you can or when you remember.
    • Because we are creating physical distance, we need to be intentional about being in contact.
      I am asking each congregation to find what works best for their church to keep in touch with members and their needs. What can we do to be there for one another? How is the best way for us to do this?
  • While we are doing all of that, we need to think about how to handle when the world changes in the next few hours. In the time on Friday afternoon while I’ve been typing this, I have communicated with 2 colleagues outside of Oklahoma who have cancelled their services indefinitely.
    • What criteria will we use to make that decision?
    • How can remain in community if we don’t gather on Sundays?
    • I will work to find what else we may be able to do, both for worship & study, and share online.


Please let me know about any questions, concerns or suggestions you have.


May God bless you and keep you safe,


Pastor Brian R. Campbell

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