Flu Season Brings Changes in Communion, Greetings

CHICAGO, IL (January 25, 2013) – Some Evangelical Covenant Church congregations have changed the way they celebrate communion or interact with one another – sometimes with humor – in response to the nationwide flu outbreak.

Redeemer Covenant Church in Caledonia, Michigan, has switched to pre-cut bread and individual cups for communion rather than tearing a piece of bread and dipping it in the common cup, says Pastor Jack Brown.

Trinity Covenant Church in Livingston, New Jersey, also is not using intinction during communion, says Pastor Sue Gillespie. They also have not been shaking hands.

Other congregations have encouraged people suffering flu symptoms to stay home for a Sunday and emphasized the need for teachers exhibiting possible signs of the illness to back out of their duties.

Members of other congregations are enjoying new ways of greeting one another. We’ve started touching elbows and laughing,” says Nancy Ebner, pastor of Orchard Covenant Church in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts.

“I’ve reminded people during the passing of the peace that its okay to just wave – or fistbump – if they don’t want to shake hands,” quips Matt Kennedy, leader of contemporary worship at Bethlehem Covenant Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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