Due to concerns about swine flu, we will not be passing the peace this coming Sunday. We will, however, still have communion for those who wish to partake because communion has a much lower risk of spreading infection than shaking hands does. Indeed one one microbiologist found that in an
epidemiological sampling of 681 individuals, no differences in illness rates were reported among those who received communion, those who attended but did not receive, and those who never attended church. This even held true for the participants who attended church and received the sacraments every single day during the 10 weeks.
To further minimize the risk we’ll be handing out Purell® wipes to everyone who attends.
The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) has a page entitiled “Swine Flu, Hygiene, and Holy Communion” at http://www.gbod.org/worship/default.asp?act=reader&item_id=7908. The microbiologist’s article is at http://archive.elca.org/lutheranpartners/archives/intinct.html.