Letter to the Congregation
Tokyo Union Church
February 28, 2020
Dear TUC Church Family,
Greetings and blessings. We write to you with thanks for your faithful involvement in the life of Tokyo Union Church and to share our concern and discernment in light of the current health concerns around the COVID-19 virus. Out of love for our congregation and our neighbors in the city of Tokyo and all Japan, and after careful and daily prayer and discernment, we have done the following:
1) Changed hygiene and social interaction practices around worship services. During this season we have replaced handshaking with bowing and “elbow bumps.” We have greatly increased the use and availability of hand sanitizer throughout the church building. We have modified our practices around food and drink during the fellowship hour.
2) We have met with medical professionals, including three medical doctors with expertise and experience in the treatment and prevention of infectious disease. They have been most helpful and have also affirmed all our updated preventive measures as appropriate and adequate. They continue to be available to consult and guide us as we respond to the changing situation.
3) In light of their counsel and our best discernment, we will continue holding Sunday morning worship services and educational activities while maintaining our new hygiene practices. We understand that some people may not feel comfortable attending worship and we respect that decision. We encourage all people experiencing any flu symptoms or fever to stay home to rest, take care of themselves, and get well. If you are sick, please let us know because we do want to pray for you.
4) We have cancelled the following activities as of today: SNO (Saturday Night Out) on March 1, Festive Friday for the month of March, the Youth Bake Sale, and the MOHN (Ministry with Our Homeless Neighbors) luncheon on Saturday, March 21. The Flea Market is postponed but not cancelled.
We will monitor this situation day by day and keep you posted. You will find updates on our TUC website, TUC Mobile App, Twitter feed, and Facebook page.
We pray for all who are afflicted by the virus, and all who are concerned. We live in faith and trust and we seek to love and serve our neighbors in the way of Jesus. We are grateful for you, the congregation of TUC, and we are committed to do everything we possibly can for the wholeness and hope in our community.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Steven T. Yamaguchi, Pastor
Dr. Peter Mathies, President of the Congregation