Our Presiding Bishop’s Latest Update on COVID-19 – March 18
Since my last communication with you, the rapidly escalating reality of the coronavirus has necessitated the declaration of a national emergency. As you know, global efforts are being focused on lessening the spread and impact of this virus. To this effect, the federal government is working closely with state, local and public health partners to respond to this public health threat in the forefront of the obvious question: What are the saints to do? First, needless to say, we are living in perilous times, but certainly not without a divine remedy to survive, overcome, and emerge safely and victoriously. In fact, the same way God exercised His power to save Israel from every disease which struck the land of Egypt, even so did our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ demonstrate Himself to be the Son of God in accomplishing the healing of every widespread outbreak and pandemic affecting the regions wherever He traveled. For this reason, it is my desire to share some practical guidelines for elevating our awareness while fully engaging our faith. Simply stated – Listen. Trust. Obey.
LISTEN Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak available on the World Health Organization website (www.who.int), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website (www.cdc.gov), and through your state and local public health authority. These authorities will have firsthand, up-to-date, reliable information on the situation in your area. I ask that you make every effort to tune-in to your regular local press briefings, comply with all bans and restrictions, practice social distancing, and together, we will stay fully informed, well-prepared, and safely empowered.
TRUST You do not have to panic. During this crisis, our faith in God is most responsibly exercised in trusting those voices whose entire lives and professions have been dedicated to the awesome task of ensuring our public health. Proverbs 24 expresses how far better it is to be wise than strong. Intelligence will always outrank stamina. Strategic planning is the key to warfare. Therefore, to win, you must remain connected to good counsel.
OBEY “Be not deceived” nor vulnerable. 1. Routinely wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based solution. This kills viruses that may be on your hands. 2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Why? The same hands we lift in worship also touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus through your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and cause sickness. 3. Above all, stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, but call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority, and by all means, avoid travel. 4. Be mindful and adaptable to the caution that larger worship gatherings (more than 50 people in some states) offer more opportunities for person-to-person contact and therefore, pose greater risk of COVID-19 transmission. While we do not have all the answers to why this pandemic has stricken the land, we as Spirit-filled believers are assured in Psalms 33:19 that our God is sovereign, He is in control and He is ready to come to our rescue in critical times. Finally, knowing that God has sent His Word to heal, what better testimony of our global presence would be more influential than the demonstration of the 6.5 million saints of the Church of God in Christ collectively, obediently, and prayerfully doing their part to combat and bring relief to this severe crisis. Meanwhile, let’s stay in touch! We do not know what tomorrow holds, but without a doubt, we know Who holds tomorrow.
In His Service,
Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. Presiding Bishop & Chief Apostle Church of God in Christ, Inc. Seventh in Succession