Dear All Saints,
As I addressed at both worship services last Sunday, all of us are concerned about the continued spreading of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This past week, Bishop John Howard sent out an email to the clergy of the diocese urging all of us to monitor closely the spread of the virus and to follow the directions of the Center for Disease Control and our local health departments. With Sunday arriving tomorrow, I just wanted to reiterate to everyone that we are doing everything possible to keep the church safe and accessible for prayer and worship during this time of worry and concern.
Tomorrow morning, All Saints will have a hand sanitizer station at the main entrance into the church. There will also be a fresh supply of antibacterial soap in each of the restrooms between the Parish Hall and the Christian Education Building. Please make use of this, and keep your hands washed & clean. And at the altar we will continue to make sure all clergy and Eucharistic Ministers sanitize their hands and ensure that the chalice is properly wiped and turned after each person consumes wine from the chalice.
In addition to that, here are a few additional suggestions for Sundays at All Saints:
- If you are feeling sick, stay home and rest. If you'd like prayer, let the church office know so we can add you to the Prayer List. If you'd like someone to bring you Holy Communion, that can be scheduled as well. First and foremost, take care of yourself.
- If you are well, come to church! Worship and prayer is very important, especially during times of distress and worry.
- At church during the Peace, use "alternative" varieties of greeting your sisters and brothers in Christ. Reach out and pat your neighbor on the shoulder. Hold up your hand and give the old Peace sign. Offer a little bow of respect. As long as you don't forget to smile and say, "The Peace of the Lord! Good morning!" these are all perfect options for the Peace.
- DURING HOLY COMMUNION, REMEMBER THAT TO ONLY RECEIVE THE BREAD IS STILL MAKING A FULL COMMUNION WITH THE LORD! Communion in one kind counts!
- And if you'd still like to receive the wine, consider drinking from the chalice and not inticting (dipping) the bread yourself. As I mentioned last week, by dipping the wafer yourself, you run the risk of touching the wine with your fingers, which is far more likely to contaminate the wine then taking a sip directly from the chalice. At All Saints, each chalice is either sterling silver or silver plated, and we use alcoholic wine, both of which are what has helped keep Holy Communion from spreading illness to church communities for around two millennia now. Please consider simply receiving the bread or drinking from the chalice, during this and every flu season.
- Finally, whatever you decide to do for you and your family, please continue to pray daily for those who have been infected by the Coronavirus, for those who have died, and for their families.
As we continue to focus our prayers for the healing power of Christ to move throughout the world during this period of concern, please know that your church clergy, staff, vestry, and volunteers will be doing everything we can to keep the church open and available for you and for our community.