The Office of Public Affairs

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Announcement Regarding the H1N1 Flu Virus

May 4, 2009

In the past days, the Church has received inquiries from our members, parishes and diocese regarding the news about the H1N1 flu virus and how, if at all, it might affect the continued practice of their faith. We are asked:
Should I go to Church? Exchange the Peace? Drink from the cup?

As long as it is recommended that we go to school and work, it is also fine to go to Church. Going to Church provides community and offers comfort. For some, it may be more comfortable at this time to share the Peace simply with a smile. For others, it may be helpful to remember that it is liturgically acceptable to receive only the bread.

The key is to make decisions based on local practices and safety issues, use common sense, stay informed, follow the advice of medical experts, and talk to your clergy if you have questions about worship service.
For more information, please see Episcopal Relief & Development's website,

Constance, Nun, and her Companions
Commonly called "The Martyrs of Memphis," 1878
We give you thanks and praise, O God of compassion, for the heroic witness of Constance and her companions, who, in a time of plague and pestilence, were steadfast in their care for the sick and dying, and loved not their own lives, even unto deal: Inspire in us a like love and commitment to those in need, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer