Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead us,*  
and bring us to your holy hill and to your dwelling -Psalm 43:3
 
The news and spread of the coronavirus is happening at a worrisome and fast pace. Part of our unfolding anxiety is surely the uncertainty of what the next day, even hours, will bring for our common life. Know that I am holding all of you in my daily prayers.
Less than an hour after my Update was sent out yesterday, Virginia's governor banned gatherings of more than 10 people, and our Presiding Bishop sent a letter to the Church stating, "It is reasonable to assume that some form of recommendations restricting public gatherings will continue for some time... Considering this changing landscape, I believe that suspension of in-person public worship is generally the most prudent course of action at this time, even during Holy Week and on Easter Day." (A link to the PB's full letter is below).
As we are quickly adjusting our lives in response to this pandemic, all our public gatherings for worship must now be suspended in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia. Finding new ways to worship and care for ourselves and our neighbors will be new frontier for our mission and ministry. Let us prayerfully, and with courage, prepare ourselves to address the challenges in front of us as baptized disciples of Christ Jesus.  
Below this message, you will see a link to new online worship form. Canon Furlow is asking you to share the information pertaining to the live streaming of your Sunday worship services. We will make those links available to all of our parishes, especially with our smaller parishes with no clergy or capacity for live streaming. In this way, we can stay connected to each other in new ways. As I can't be there in person, I look forward to worshiping online with you.  
We now have a new page on our diocesan website devoted to information and resources related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The link is below.
 
On a personal note, I want you to know that my father is now in hospice care, due to sudden complications from pneumonia, and is nearing the end of his life. I covet your prayers today for him and for our family.
Peace,
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The Right Reverend Mark A. Bourlakas
Recommended References & Resources 


To Be Filled Out by Southwestern Virginia Parishes and Missions Offering Online Worship
Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia
1002 1st Street SW
Roanoke, Virginia 24016
(540) 342-6797