When will services resume at the church building? As the state OK's opening bars and hair salons, some of you are pressing to get back to the church.

Here are two preludes to answering : 1) Please know that no one will be encouraged to do anything that feels unsafe to accomplish worship; we intend to keep offering an array of choices, including online worship. 2) Our next steps will be designed to give our new rector starting points for further adaptation.

A Taskforce (composed of relevant staff, our wardens, ministry leaders and the vestry worship liaison) has been carefully considering all the issues raised by  resuming on-site worship. We will offer worship at the church building when the bishop and vestry approve a re-opening plan that has my endorsement.  Please absorb and provide some information while that process moves forward.

Covid-19 is not just another seasonal flu, and it is no less harmful to those who contract it than it was in March  when we were ordered to shelter in place. Society is re-opening because cessation of economic activity can shatter lives also, not because the danger has passed. Government is striving to manage the danger with more testing and contact-tracing capacity.

We all have our favorite news feeds, and they don't supply the same views. Walter Cronkite is not likely to be resurrected and give us a voice we can all trust. So, facts from reliable sources take on great meaning. My cousin is doing a medical residency in emergency medicine. He is stunned by the wide range of complications Covid-19 is causing in young and old alike. The complications he has seen flowing from an overactive immune response include strokes in young people. Many who have had it are experiencing prolonged ramifications. Please read this report describing when over 500 well-informed epidemiologists intend to resume various activities and which they deem to be high risk.

If we resume worship in the building, it will hinge on everyone taking these facts very, very seriously and strictly observing the precautions we will announce. Face-coverings are not about individual rights and choice; they are about respect, and our bishop requires them for in-person worship. You wouldn't blow second-hand smoke in someone's face. Don't risk sharing pathogens you might be unknowingly carrying. 

To adequately prepare, we need your input via the survey earlier distributed. Over 230 have taken it online. You may still do so that way by searching for the email sent out in mid-May, or fill out and return the one recently mailed. Because we need to assess these results and assess the impact of recent business re-openings on contagion in our area, we are predicting July 5 will be the earliest we might resume on-site worship, assuming the bishop continues to endorse openings after June 21.

Please continue to use our online worship resources and provide feedback upon how they can be improved. St. Margaret's is committed to meeting your needs.

Pastor Kathleen Kelly,   
Interim Rector  
47535 State Hwy. 74
Palm Desert, CA 92260
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