Anglican Orthodox Church
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDING BISHOP
PO Box 128
Statesville, N.C. 28687
Pho 704-873-8365 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.aocinternational.org
13 March 2020 Anno Domini
Bishop’s Letter to Churches on CoronaVirus
There is a grave pestilence attacking the nations and peoples of the world without distinction of old, young, or infirm. That pestilence is the CoronaVirus of Wuhan, China. Though it is serious, just as is the influenza, cancer and automobile safety, it is not something that should cause the fear and panic that has been engendered by an irresponsible media who views every emergency in light of politics.
How should the Christian respond to such a threat during our times? Just as we have historically faced every circumstance that threatens life in years gone by. Please be aware that there is no disease or pestilence today as deadly as the manmade pestilence of abortion. Both can be addressed, and both can be eliminated.
The Christian should use common sense in dealing with the possibility of contagion resulting from this virus. Just as we should always have done, we need to observe personal hygiene in washing our hands regularly and, especially, before meals. We would be wise to avoid contact with doors and other surfaces that may be contaminated by much traffic. We need not panic in stockpiling groceries and sanitation supplies. Regular hand soap is effective in cleansing the hands and body of possible contamination. The panic is not justified but contrived.
We are people of faith. God expects us to use good judgment in dealing with every condition of life that arises, but He does not expect us to panic and go off the rails at the slightest threat whose effects so far have been minimal.
I would advise all to continue to attend church and attend to the necessities of life just as always. If the virus is reported in the locale of the church, it would be wise for those with medical problems and advanced age to remain indoors at home until the threat has run its course. This is not unlike the contagions of my childhood in which mumps and measles quarantined a child to home. We might be advised to exercise the courage of Daniel and the cunning of Queen Esther. In other words, “Get a grip!”
Prayer is a feature of our daily walk of faith. Naturally, we should include an appeal to God to limit the spread of this vicious virus to others as well as ourselves. That should amount to no great change in our prayer habits. Remember the words of King David, the Psalmist:
1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Believest thou these words? If so, conduct thyself accordingly!