July 29, 2020

Dear saints,

Greetings to you and your loved ones! I hope that you have been able to find opportunities for some respite and renewal this summer. My own family misses the All Saints’ community so very much. As a father to three children whose parents have practically made church a family business, it is good to know that church attendance has got more going for it in their eyes than the donuts on Sunday mornings!
This month, the vestry met and reviewed the Public Health Task Force’s recommendations for our protocols should the vestry decide with me that the time is right to return to in-person worship and activities. We have a plan which is clear and actionable. What is also clear and what our consensus is as a vestry is that this is not the time to regather in person as a church. The current state of the public health landscape has not improved over the summer, and we believe that the risks far outweigh any potential gains. The pandemic, therefore, continues to present the challenge for us of how we can be the church remaining dispersed and online.

For me, and for your lay leadership and staff at All Saints’, within this challenge lies an opportunity to think afresh, adapt and grow. Next month our program year begins and we have been working hard to build ways for us to enjoy an abundant parish life together. On Sundays, we will have Morning Prayer services, elegantly shaped liturgies that will offer us inspiration and a spiritual focal point for our week ahead. There will also be a diverse array of formation classes and programs for adults, youth and children, complimented by further offerings on Wednesday nights. The clergy will pray at noon daily, and you are welcome to join with us in that pattern of corporate prayer. We will serve those around us in Clarkston, at Covenant Community, and via Threads and MAC. 

In addition, I have asked our staff to see this season of life in our church as an opening for innovation. This year we will explore new ground with the launch of small group ministries, new forms of worship beyond Sunday mornings, neighborhood-based parish life networks, new pastoral care ministries, a new website and communications strategy, and we will engage in a new chapter on the road to racial equity and healing. In short, in this time of challenge, we will rise and adapt and thrive.

I will write to you again this time in September with another update. In the meantime, know that I remember you all daily in my prayers and trust that you will each know the grace and love of God at home in your hearts as we travel together on the path before us.
The Rev. Dr. Simon Mainwaring, Rector
634 West Peachtree Street, Atlanta, Georgia 30308
telephone: 404-881-0835