Return to Phase 3: COVID-19 Guidelines for Worship
Important Update From Bishop Owensby

Dear Friends,

On the basis of favorable metrics, the Governor has announced that we are moving to Phase 3. This is great news that we’ve all been waiting for.

Please be mindful that risk still remains, especially given the presence of variants in our state. The effective safety measures remain in effect. Masks are required (shields alone are not acceptable). Physical distancing of at least six feet is also required unless people live together under one roof. Cleaning procedures should be continued. For now, we will continue communion in one kind.

Nevertheless, we are taking several steps toward resuming our previous practices. Here are some highlights:

1. No attendance cap beyond what physical distancing requirements impose.

2. Preachers and lectors may remove masks while preaching/reading (fifteen feet from congregation minimum distance required).

3. Choral groups may sing while wearing masks. The detailed procedures are provided in the link below and they must be followed scrupulously. For simplicity, soloists and ensembles no larger than four are highly recommended. Also, choral groups must not be placed in areas where worshippers will pass through. Finally, singing by the whole congregation is not allowed at present.

As I said, these are merely highlights. Please read and adhere to the information provided in this link from Opensafely very carefully.

Thank you all for your leadership over these trying months. You’ve worked very hard not only to protect the people of your congregations but also to continue to minister to them in new and effective ways. I’m grateful for you!

In Christ,


The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, PhD, DD
IV Bishop of Western Louisiana
Stay in the know of the latest updates to diocesan and state guidelines by visiting the COVID-19 resource page on the diocesan website. Check back frequently as we will be updating this page as new developments occur.
Diocesan Staff Continue to Work from Home
Due to the continued rise in COVID-19 infection rates, the diocesan team will work from home. This is a small, but big change in keeping staff members safe and doing our part to slow the spread of the virus.

Diocesan Staff are remotely checking office voicemails twice a day during regular business hours. They also remain accessible via email and online meeting platforms.
Diocesan Events
Virtual Diocesan Convention a Success
On Saturday, February 27, the diocese gathered virtually via Zoom for the 42nd Annual Diocesan Convention. The meeting was much like our usual in-person event. The participants voted on diocesan elections, heard reports on finance and Camp Hardtner, and watched highlights on new diocesan ministries.

The Bishop's Staff would like to extend gratitude to the clergy, delegates, and online visitors that participated in the virtual event. It was a great success. We look forward to gathering with you again in 2022!

Missed the event? View a live recording of Convention on Facebook or watch the Bishop's Address and other ministry highlight videos on the diocesan YouTube Channel.
Around the Diocese
2021 Summer Camp Schedule Now Available!
Click here for more information on the different sessions and learn what camp will look like this summer.
Online Giving
For Congregations, Diocesan Ministries and Hurricane Relief
Online giving remains available! The diocese is providing this service during the COVID-19 pandemic to help you stay connected to your congregation by providing financial support directly to it. When you give through this site, we will send your gift to the church that you designate. You can also give a gift to the Diocese so that the Bishop can respond to critical needs in Louisiana and beyond from his ministry fund. Know that we love you and that you remain in our prayers. Stay well. And thank you for your generosity!
Outside the Diocese
Good News Gardens begins its second year of praying, planting and proclaiming

When Heather Zimmerman visited St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2019, she spotted vegetable boxes "wedged in between some cemetery stones," she recently told Episcopal News Service. In them,...

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Boom Your Zoom Learning Series
Ready for a spark of inspiration for your virtual sessions? This series is based on the book, "Raise the Room," and is designed to help you build more ease, inclusion, and engagement into your virtual sessions. Tune-in for fun, sharing, and lots of new ideas. Perfect for anyone who leads classes, workshops, retreats, planning sessions, meetings or other types of online gatherings!

Click here for a flyer with full descriptions for each of the dates. Sign up for one, or all five sessions - each date has a different topic. All sessions are offered by donation. Just pay what you can!
Episcopal Church Toolkit for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
This toolkit is designed as a compilation of ideas and educational resources to help your local Episcopal Church work with the government to help end this pandemic. Churches and church leaders (lay and ordained) can serve as important trusted bridges between public health officials and congregations.
Bishop Owensby's Latest Blog Post
Being True to Yourself

In the old days of Hollywood, film actors could get work only if they contractually bound themselves to one of the few big studios. Part of the deal frequently involved a name change. Roy Scherer, Jr., became Rock Hudson. You may know him as Cary ...

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