Friday, May 14, 2021
Dear Siblings in Christ,
I give thanks for all the progress we are making as a state and as a nation in combatting COVID-19. The recent, updated guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) support the effectiveness of the vaccines. With this in mind, I urge all leaders to promote and support vaccine distribution in your congregations and in your wider community.
I understand that many of us have been eager to return to our pre-pandemic way of life, especially when it comes to gathering for worship and other church activities. I am encouraged that the latest news from the national CDC will mean that we can begin to gather together sooner than I had thought. And, while vaccines are making it safer for us, it is important to acknowledge that children under age 12 are still not approved to receive any vaccines. We must also acknowledge that currently, only 38% of Coloradans have been fully vaccinated.
Recognizing that clergy and lay leaders have been bombarded by a slew of diverse and passionate opinions from parishioners about how to proceed, I suspect that you will receive even more questions and comments this weekend. I encourage all church leaders to be prayerful in their decision making and not make any immediate changes until they’ve had the opportunity to listen to their congregations this Sunday. The hardest part of being a community centered on Christ is seeking not our own interests but the interests of all members of our community. Our priority now, as always is to walk in the way of Love.
As excited and thankful as I am about the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, Canon Carl and I are waiting for the Colorado CDC’s review of these recommendations to determine how they will affect us. We are also waiting to review the study from CU Boulder on singing. Once we have reviewed the recommendations for Colorado’s CDC and other information, Canon Carl and I will update our recommendations for our parishes and missions across Colorado.
In summary: I encourage you to start/continue the conversations about regathering, but do not feel compelled to make quick changes; I encourage you to continue wearing masks and maintain appropriate physical distance indoors; I ask you to be mindful of creating castes in our churches (e.g. the vaccinated vs the unvaccinated), and to continue to serve communion in one kind (or in the hermetically sealed kits) Canon Carl and I will provide new recommendations for churches next week. Finally, I pray that we will continue to love and care for those who are the most vulnerable.