March 16 – CWU and the Coronavirus



Greetings and Salutations of Comfort Dear CWU Sisters in Christ;

The headlines related to the corona virus, known as COVID-19, are steady and—at
times—unsettling. According to the World Health Organization’s Coronavirus situation
dashboard, the quickly spreading illness has infected more than 125,000 people

Health officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have offered a
variety of tips to help us keep the virus at bay:

1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
2. Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
5. Put distance between yourself and others; protective social distancing.
6. Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
7. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the
inside of your elbow. Then wash your hands.
8. Wear a facemask in public if you are sick.
9. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, doorknobs,
light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and

In these things, we are called to be diligent and faithful for the benefit of ourselves,
our families and loved ones, our community, our state and our nation.
However, there is also some great breaking news!


Today, a bill is set to be signed in the Oval Office for COVID-19 testing. This battery
of tests, which usually costs over $1,000.00 per person, will be offered FREE to all US
Citizens regardless of their insurance coverage, or lack there of. The bill was brought
forward by US Congresswoman, Katie Porter. who actually did the math on this critical
issue! In questioning Robert Redfield, Director of the Center for Disease Control, and
breaking down the average cost for an uninsured person in America to go through
the process of COVID-19 testing, she brought up a stature that allows Redfield
himself to authorize payment to make testing for the virus free for everyone. For more
on this, please visit:


A particular challenge for CWU is social distancing; we are told that isolating
ourselves is the best way to protect others. But what about our need for connection
and community? What about empathy and caring for each other?

Turning Inward, Looking Outward to find Peace

John 14:27 (NIV) Peace I leave with you; My Peace I give you. I do not give you as
the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

As CWU members, we can yet widen our circle of concern during this time of
constraint by embracing and remembering our core mission, vision and values. We
can, as an organization, be instrumental to helping women, children and families in
need of fervent prayer during this time of crisis. Instead of simply enduring this time
of isolation, we can instead, make this a time of spiritual growth, greater unity, and
deeper connection for our CWU members. Quite to the contrary, this time can help
us feel even more connected with Christ and our CWU Sisters, through faithful prayer
and intercession. This time apart, can be a gift that we can use to help us strengthen
our faith and increase our hope and optimism, both individually and collectively as an
organization. It can, in short, lead to the promise of HIS PEACE amidst the storm.
Not surprisingly, medical experts and researches also validate that deepening our
personal relationship with Christ, has a direct impact on our physical health and
quality of life. Among the many benefits, studies have shown individuals who pursue
their faith, find not only the promise of peace, but relief from feelings of anxiety,
depression and anger, along with decreased feelings of loneliness. In addition, as
evidenced by many 12-Step programs, there is a decrease in alcohol and substance
abuse, lowered blood pressure, and better control of pain and discomfort when
actively pursuing our faith.

Deepening our spiritual relationship with Christ through prayer, studying God’s
Word, personal reflection, journalling, and listening to uplifting hymns and praise
music are just a few of the many ways to find the calm in the midst of the storm for us
as Christian Women, and Church Women United. Let us commit to using this time of
social isolation to draw closer to God in sacred relationship; interceding for others,
and choosing to be an active part of His ‘divine intervention’ at this time of national
crisis. Let us choose to be part of His divine solution – one that also yields greater
peace and comfort for ourselves, Church Women United and indeed, the World.
Prayer is one of the most vital prescriptions available to us right now – with no chance
of running low on supply!
Please let us know if this has been helpful and supportive to you, personally. If so, we
will continue to offer a weekly CWU Good News Series to continue to support Church
Women United and our Sisters in Christ.

Yours in Christ,


Mary Panek
Conference Coordinator
Communications Char
Church Women United in Michigan