GSLC Coronavirus Response Details

Page updated 4/5/2020, 12:38 PM

Go to video tutorials for an easy-to-make, no-sew mask

In keeping with Governor Northam's statewide stay-at-home order, we’ have closed the building, until June 10. We’ll continue to monitor changes and update this page if the order is rescinded or the date is extended.

Meanwhile, we'll gather online for worship and learning.

Sunday Worship

8:30 AM Worship | 9:45 AM Worship11 AM Worship

March 29 bulletins (PDFs):

8:30 & 11 AM9:45 AM

First communion class: Sunday, 1 PM (contact Denise Steene if you need the Zoom link)

Confirmation game night: Sunday, 6 PM (contact Denise Steene if you need the Zoom link)

Weekday Morning Prayer: 9 AM (Monday-Friday)

Bible Studies: Tuesday, 8 PM | Wednesday, 11 AM

Lenten Evening Prayer Service: Wednesdays, 7 PM

Choir online meetup: Wednesdays, 7:45 PM (contact Daniel Jackson if you need the Zoom link)

A video update and message from Pastor Jen

March 25

Pandemic Hope: A Family Devotional for Life During Covid-19 (pdf) Source:

As we continue to prepare and use common sense measures to protect ourselves and each other as best as possible:

  • We’ll update this page with pertinent details.
  • Regular updates (overall GSLC and COVID-19-specific) are included in our weekly e-newsletter.
  • If you don’t get GSLC email and would like to, let Elise know and she can subscribe you.

Video tutorials for an easy-to-make, no-sew mask:

  • 30 seconds - Using a bandana, dinner napkin or square of cloth
  • 1 minute, 42 seconds - Using a bandana, dinner napkin or square of cloth
  • 7 minutes, 41 seconds - Using various household supplies (paper towel, paper, aluminum foil
  • (Sorry about the ads that may precede the YouTube videos, we have no control over them.)

We have a task force, Linda Schuessler, Sue Cottrol, Pastor Jen, Denise Steene and Corinne Baker who continue to monitor government and public health updates and recommendations. Details below on:

  • Caring for yourself and others
  • Online worship and bible study
  • Sunday School, events, meetings and groups
  • Shepherding each other
  • Ongoing giving
  • A prayer for this time

Caring for Yourself and Others

To protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Governor Ralph Northam issued a statewide stay-at-home order from March 30 to June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded.

These recommendations come from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) :

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. (Call your doctor first before going to a clinic.)
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • If soap and water aren’t readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if they're visibly dirty.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, cabinet handles).
  • Further information is on the CDC website

From Pastor Jen: Personally, I’ve asked my mother (87 years old and rather frail) not to go to church and to invite my aunt (75 and in good health) to watch a movie together at home instead of going to the movie theater. These are not official guidelines, but suggestions I’ve given my own family if it helps you make decisions for yourself.

Online Worship and Bible Study

Worship details | Bible study details

While we won’t worship in our church building, we encourage the entire congregation to worship at their normal service times from home via the Zoom online platform. Links to join in are below. Zoom will allow us to interact, even though we’re all participating from our homes:

  • Readers can read the Scripture for us.
  • Assisting ministers can lead prayers.
  • Music and a bulletin can even be shared on screen.
  • At the 9:45 AM Zoom service I’ll share a children’s message.
  • (We’ll even have an offering :-)

Clearly this is not the same experience as meeting in person. However, in listening to health officials, our synod, and colleagues in other area churches, we think this is a prudent decision because our worshiping community includes many who are at greater risk for complications from the virus. We’ll also do our part to protect the most vulnerable by helping to flatten the curve of the coronavirus through social distancing.

Once In-Person Worship Resumes

  • Please stay home if you’re sick.
  • We’ll continue to stream our Sunday sermon from the 9:45 AM service on Facebook Live. We’ll email the link after worship – you don’t need a Facebook account to view it.
  • If you haven’t picked up a Christ in Our Home devotional, please let Elise know and she can send one to you.
  • We’ll have hand sanitizer stations at the church entrances and encourage you to use them.
  • We’ll continue the recent adjustments to limit hand-to-hand contact while enabling us to gather as a community:
    • Sharing the peace with American sign language, peace signs or reverential bows
    • We’ll discontinue intinction (dipping bread into a cup before consuming) for Holy Communion and instead use individual glasses of wine/grape juice at all services.
    • Assisting ministers/communion assistants will place the glasses on the tray at the communion rail for you to pick up and consume. Then you’ll place your empty glass in a basket in the front pew.

Sunday School, Meetings and Groups

  • All in-person events at the church building are rescheduled online or canceled for the time being. At this time, we’ve also closed our building to the other community groups who use our space.
  • We have a license for Zoom, an online meeting platform; that may be an option for your group if needed. Let Pastor Jen know if you need a meeting set up.
  • We’ll do a deep cleaning of the building before we reopen to decrease our risk of spreading the virus through surface contact.

Shepherding each other

We know the many closures happening now is difficult – especially for those who already feel a bit isolated. To help maintain connections, we’ve established “shepherding” groups. Expect an email, text or call from a “shepherd” – a fellow member of Good Shepherd – who will check in on you and your household, identify your needs/concerns and forward them to Pastor Jen, and keep you up-to-date about what’s going on. 

Ongoing Giving

Precautions related to the coronavirus will impact on our activities and gatherings. We recognize it may also have a negative impact on our giving. Please continue to give and support our ministries:

  • You can mail a check (see address in footer)
  • Give online

Although our activities may need to be curtailed at this time, our fixed expenses for our ministries, staffing and building operations continue. Thank you for your ongoing support!

Let Us Pray

A Coronavirus Prayer, from America magazine, a Jesuit publication:

Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing lovePrayer continues here