Dallas Church on a Mission to Snuff Out Germs

Pastor fights swine flu with hand sanitizer, changes to Communion

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    A Dallas church is working to keep swine flu out of the pews.

    Some people are avoiding large gatherings over swine flu concerns, but at least one Dallas church is working to keep its congregation safe.

    Oak Lawn United Methodist Church has electric hand sanitizers and has changed the way it offers Communion.

    "We used to have the bread and dip it into the juice; we no longer do that," Pastor Derrick Wright said.

    Instead, Wright sanitizes his hands and passes out the bread himself. The juice comes in solo-serving sizes.

    Mike Robertson, an usher at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church, said the steps the church is taking to fight germs are a relief.

    "You don't feel like maybe I don't want to touch anybody, you know?" he said.

    Wright said he knew his congregation was getting distracted by the germs swirling around the Metroplex, so he needed to do something about it.

    "As pastor and my staff, we weekly think about what are some ways we can keep focused on the main thing, and that is God and other people," he said.

    Church members say Wright's mission has been a success so far.

    "So far, I'm not aware of any case of H1N1 in our facility. I'd better knock on wood," parishioner Rogers Fair said.

    According to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control, 41 states are reporting widespread swine flu outbreaks. Visits to doctors and hospitals for flu-like symptoms are hitting record levels for this time of year.