Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Info

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Introduction

As you are well aware, the world is on edge because of the recent strand of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) which has now come to the New Orleans metropolitan area.

We shouldn’t be surprised by disease. We live in a world that is fallen and broken because of human sin, and disease and death are natural consequences of living under the curse. Jesus also told us that at the end of the age there would be “plagues in various places” (Luke 21:11). We are seeing his prophecy fulfilled in this very moment. It certainly feels like the end of the world if you go down the paper products aisle at Walmart.

Though we want to be wise and take necessary precautions from further spreading this disease, we recognize that Christian believers see and experience this differently than the world that does not know Christ. One of the key ways we can promote a Christian witness—how Jesus makes us different—is not to give into irrational panic. As Paul told Timothy, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment” (2 Tim. 1:7).

Our church is committed to keeping our community informed. The health and well-being of our members and guests are a top concern. We are working closely with the New Orleans Health Department and the Louisiana Department of Health to monitor the novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19).

As information evolves, this page is the primary, most up-to-date place for you to receive answers to commonly asked questions. We are committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our church family and surrounding community.

How is the church making decisions?

Church staff are closely monitoring information and guidance issued by local, state, and national health organizations, including the New Orleans Health Department, Louisiana Department of Health, and the Center for Disease Control. Decisions regarding activity and procedural changes are being made by the pastoral staff in close collaboration with healthcare professionals and key leadership within our congregation.   

We are continuing to work closely with local and state officials so we can respond quickly to any changes in their recommendations, guidance, and direction.

Is the church cancelling activities or events?

Following the proclamation signed into action by our governor, we have made the decision to suspend all meetings and gatherings, including Sunday worship, ConnectGroups, Wednesday Bible studies, and committee meetings. Additionally, any other special events scheduled in the next 5 weeks have been cancelled or postponed such as the Easter Picnic and the Warrior Feast.  

These cancellations will continue until further notice (the proclamation is in effect until at least April 13th) , but we will be regularly reassessing the situation to make adjustments as appropriate. If it is possible and safe to resume certain activities, we will let you know. 

The church office will remain open during normal business hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Monday through Thursday, but the office will be closed on Fridays.

Updates concerning these activities as well as other upcoming events will be made available on this page.

What precautions should I take if attending our worship gathering?

We encourage everyone to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses, including:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (especially after coughing/sneezing or using the restroom)
  • Using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available
  • Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands 
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Covering your cough or sneeze and sanitizing your hands immediately after
  • Disinfecting objects and surfaces regularly
  • Avoid interactions like hand shaking and hugs as much as possible

What precautions is the church taking to make the worship gathering as safe as possible?

The church is taking several steps to better sanitize our facility and also lessen the likelihood of transmission, including:

  • Wiping down all common area touchpoints (e.g., doors, light switches, countertops, etc.) before, during, and after gatherings
  • Placing hand sanitizers in common areas throughout the buildings
  • Suspending the traditional greeting time
  • Having members of the safety and security team remain vigilant for individuals showing clear symptoms of COVID-19

What precautions is the church taking to make childcare areas as safe as possible?

We are taking additional precautions in our children’s areas to lessen the likelihood of transmission and ensure the safest environment possible for kids, including:

  • Wiping down all common area touchpoints (e.g., doors, light switches, countertops, etc.)
  • Placing hand sanitizers at the entry of each classroom for children and teachers to use when entering and leaving
  • After each gathering, all touched surfaces, and toys are sterilized
  • Removing objects and toys that cannot be sterilized quickly
  • Continuing to follow our standard health protocols (not admitting any child with a fever – children should be fever free for at least 24 hours prior to arrival)

How can I stay connected even though services are cancelled?

We will still continue to come together for worship, even if not in person or in face-to-face meetings. During this time, we will need even more time in worship, prayer, and the reading and teaching of God’s Word, not less. We need to comfort one another as believers in the truth that we have a loving heavenly Father who knows our needs and who will provide for us. 

We will be live-streaming our worship service on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. during the same time we would be meeting in person. Clint will be leading in worship, and Dr. Putman will preach from God’s word. 

The livestream will be viewable online with a smart phone or computer and will be accessible through our website at firstkenner.org/livestream. This webpage also includes some of the basic info you’re used to seeing in the weekly printed bulletin (e.g. last week’s giving and the ConnectCard).

We will remain in close communication with our Bible study and ministry leaders from our church. We are in the process of rolling out ConnectGroup meetings via a video conferencing platform called Zoom. This would allow our groups to interact with one another like an online video chat. This platform also lets others call in using a traditional phone so they can join the meeting like they are on speakerphone with the group. If your ConnectGroup leaders wants to explore this option, they will let you know.   

We would like to hear from you in the church office (or using the form at the bottom of this page) if there are some specific ways we can minister to you during this time. More details will unfold as we come up with a clearer plan about how to do that. We will also try to relay information via social media and email. 

How can I give my tithes and offerings from off site?

The mission and ministries of our church depend on your financial gifts. We know COVID-19 may disrupt the normal Sunday-morning way you’re able to give. However, there are still very easy and convenient ways to continue giving to our church.

The easiest way to give remotely is online through KennerConnect. You’ll need a KennerConnect profile login, but setting one up is quick and simple (if you don’t have one already). The online giving portal allows you to give a one-time or reoccurring gift drafted from your bank account. Your giving information can be saved to make giving again later more convenient, and everything is stored and transmitted using industry-standard encryption.

If you’d rather not give online, you can also send a check to the church’s mailing address: PO Box 1357 Kenner, LA 70063

What can I do now?

We encourage our community to have plans in place and take the following actions:

  • Staying home if you are sick and practicing limiting the spread of disease by washing hands, covering your cough, and getting a flu shot.
  • Pay attention to factual information from the CDC, Louisiana Department of Health or New Orleans Health Department. Do not panic and help dispel rumors.
  • Stock up on medications and food that you would need if you were sick so that you don’t have to go to the store when you are ill.
  • If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have a respiratory illness, please call your healthcare provider for instructions.  This can limit the spread of disease in waiting rooms by getting advice over the phone or getting instructions on how to enter the doctor’s office if they want to see you in person.
  • Monitor global travel restrictions by visiting: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
  • Finding alternative childcare arrangements for your children in case of school closure.
  • Talking to your employer about policies for working from home or shifting work schedules or responsibilities if schools are dismissed or you become sick.  If you are an employer, consider maximum flexibility with allowing ill employees to remain home, or those caring for sick family to work remotely.

What if I have additional questions?

We know things can get a little chaotic or confusing, so if you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us by phone or use the form below:

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