Churches adapt to the threat of the H1N1 virus

| September 28, 2009

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) – Churches are taking extra pre-cautions to keep the deadly swine flu from affecting more communities in our area. Person-to-person contact is the easiest way to spread the virus, leaving Sunday mornings a prime-time to get sick.

“We are mindful of the fact that this is a place where the virus can be spread.”

Churches are beginning to talk about what steps they can take, to keep from rapidly spreading H1N1. Most churches have made hand sanitizer ready available for parishioners to use. Elim Lutheran in Fargo is taking the next step, a congregation for the time being is fading away from shaking hands; a decision that has torn Pastor Sue Koesterman.

“Church is also a place where people meet each other and are in fellowship with one another so we don’t want to discourage the human connection either so we’re kind of trying to find a balance between those two things.”

Elim’s counter to shaking hands is greeting one another by grasping elbows, waving or tossing up the peace sign. Koesterman’s congregation has embraced the change.

“Elbows, touching elbows, because it’s a human touch and it makes you feel good.”

“When it was introduced I did just gave the peace sign and um bumped elbows with a couple of the younger people of the congregation.”

A church keeping its faith and its congregation close just dabbling with a new temporary tradition. Pastors at other churches like Hope Lutheran are showing their congregation other ways to greet. Like the popular trend of fist-bumping.

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Category: Public Health

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