I just completed the first 10 weeks of what I am calling God’s School of Church Technology. It is a self-directed program initiated by the Great Pandemic of 2020. The next 10 weeks will proceed with the same directive—learn what I need to understand about using technology to advance the effectiveness of the church. I have written of this before. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I was also enrolled in God’s post-graduate School of Church Sanitation and Disease Control. My only experience in this field was two months as a janitor in charge of changing incandescent light bulbs (fluorescent fixtures require skill), floor sweeping, and wrestling a buffer. Also, I once had a food handler’s permit for meals on wheels that expired years ago. Now, in concert with our Hispanic congregation, I have become acquainted with the intrinsic differences between hand soap, antibiotic foams and sprays, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic sanitizers. A support group has become a necessity.
Immediately following our March 15 closure of the building, some volunteers from Monte Los Olivos cleaned and sanitized the restrooms, kitchen, hard surface floors and doors. Later, the water fountains were sealed off from use and the pews, microphones and other surfaces cleaned. Each week now, three teams rotate through the church cleaning before and after any gatherings. As the Hispanic church has begun weekly services, this procedure has worked well. We have focused on the restrooms by replacing the soap bottles with automatic antibacterial hand soap dispensers and providing flushable toilet seat covers. In the main foyer, in the entrance by the kitchen and in Fellowship Hall, we are installing foam hand sanitizers. We have placed sanitizing stations in the sanctuary.
We are considering ways to keep all of us safe during and between Sunday morning worship, while both churches are in the building at our usual times. Occasionally my mother would send us off to bathe saying, Cleanliness is next to Godliness. The saying is not found in the Bible. It is attributed to the Methodist evangelist John Wesley, but probably had its origin in an admonition to wash thoroughly dating from the times of the Black plague. The Bible does advocate clean hands and a clean heart when approaching God in prayer and worship.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Stay clean and safe. And let’s experience the love and power of God together, while apart.