Virus forces service cancellation
    March 8 2010 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor

    With part of the ministerial staff and about 40 church members sick, Pastor Bill Bowyer had to make a call. Should the church hold services or cancel and try to get everyone healthy?

    The senior pastor of Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church in Raleigh decided to cancel Wednesday evening services Feb. 24.

    “We had been getting reports on Tuesday (Feb. 23) that people who had been at a Sunday School leadership meeting (Feb. 21) were sick,” he said.

    By Wednesday morning, Bowyer said he had heard of up to 40 who were sick, most leaders for Sunday School and Awana leaders for Wednesday night.

    Three on the ministerial staff were sick.

    The church was going to have to adjust Wednesday night programming because so many leaders were out.

    Bowyer said they opted to have a “much healthier experience on Sunday” (Feb. 28).

    “I hate to cancel services,” he said. “It’s unsettling to do that, but when you’re facing so much illness,” there really isn’t a choice.

    Extra effort was taken to clean door handles and knobs especially near the area where the meeting took place Feb. 21.

    It was a first in his 32 years as a pastor.

    Although it was not confirmed, he believes the culprit to be the norovirus, a gastrointestinal virus that has no known cure and is wreaking havoc throughout the state.

    Recent outbreaks occurred on cruise ships and among youth at a YMCA meeting in Raleigh.

    Symptoms generally last a couple of days but reports say that it can spread days and even weeks afterwards.

    The church had canceled Sunday services Jan. 31 because of snow and ice, a move Bowyer did not make lightly.

    “You create a huge problem with people getting in and out of cars,” he said. “When you cancel on Sunday most of the time you never make up what you lose in offerings.”
    3/8/2010 6:36:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor | with 0 comments

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