Dear Wisconsin Conference Family,
With a number of confirmed cases of conoravirus COVID-19 in the state of Wisconsin and yesterday’s proclamation from Governor Ever’s office declaring a public health emergency, many of our members and leaders are concerned about its impact on our churches, schools and families.
The Wisconsin Conference is carefully following up-to-date information from the county and state health authorities regarding response to this virus. Our goal is to communicate information that relates to our churches, schools, and events.
At this time we are asking that members act cautiously, implementing the guidelines from the CDC relating to coronavirus. (https://www.cdcgov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html).
Yesterday Wisconsin Conference leadership conducted a phone conference with all our pastors clarifying how church leaders and churches should relate to this COVID-19 outbreak. Conference administrators and educational leaders also met to discuss implications relating to our schools and how to deal with them.
From those meetings we are recommending the following:
- Follow all county and state recommendations relating to COVID-19, which includes taking precautions from getting and/or passing on the virus to others.
2. Older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions, should stay home from church at this time. (Several of our churches offer live-streaming so members could be a part of the worship service while being at home.)
3. Not conduct or attend meetings where there may be 250 or more people in attendance.
4. Churches and schools implement procedures to minimize the possibility of contracting or passing on the virus. These would include limiting physical contact (handshaking, embracing, etc.) at church or school.
5. Intentionally cleaning doorknobs and other common surfaces. Providing hand-sanitizer in common areas, etc.
To date, the following decisions have been made regarding future events in our area.
- The Lake Union Pathfinder Bible Experience, scheduled for March 21 will happen, but will be done remotely rather than everyone gathering at Andrews University. (Contact Pastor Eric Chavez for details)
2. The WA Music Fest is cancelled (April 2-4)
3. The Lake Union ASI Spring Fellowship is cancelled (April 3-4)
4. The Mad About Marriage seminar is cancelled (April 4)
5. WA Alumni weekend (April 17-19) is being postponed until the fall (date to be decided)
6. Wisconsin Academy spring break will end as scheduled March 22, however, students will conduct their classes remotely from home, for the week of March 22-29.
7. Education Fair is cancelled (April 13)
We are in new and uncharted territory for our communities, nation and the world. Unrest and panic is spreading faster than the virus, and the world markets are erratic at best.
But while much is uncertain around us, we have a Certainty, and that is Jesus Christ. When all the world is being shaken, He is our Rock, and we can turn to Him for guidance and reassurance. He can bring peace amidst the storm.
Mike Edge, Wisconsin Conference President