Episcopal Diocese of Utah
March Newsletter
Second Edition
March 18, 2020
Fourth Sunday in Lent
Liturgical color is purple
Bishop Hayashi offers a video message concerning convention,
Holy Week and these uncertain times.
In postponing convention, the Bishop offered the following statement: "The date of Diocesan Convention is set by the bishop. Because of the COVID-19 virus and the danger that it presents, I have determined that the wisest course of action is to postpone Convention. My hope is that by the summer or autumn it will be safe for our diocese to gather together. By taking this action, we the Diocese of Utah, are contributing to the effort to slow the spread of the virus."

Earlier, the Bishop sent out a letter concerning cancellation and postponement of other activities and in response to the anxiety many of us feel. To see the full letter, click here. He wrote:
"We did not choose to live in this time to be confronted with COVID-19. We did not choose this, but here we are. I do not believe that COVID-19 is all part of some large plan of God but I do believe that you and I are part of God's plan to help our world in this difficult and anxious period.
Right now, and for an indeterminate time, life is not normal. Public worship services have been halted, and we do not know for how long. Our Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry, communicated with us that the '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.'" To read the Presiding Bishop's full Word to the Church regarding this matter, click here.
Bishop Scott B. Hayashi Cancels Services and Public Gatherings in the Diocese of Utah
Dear People of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah:

The Covid-19 virus is spreading, and all indications point to it continuing to do so. As the bishop of the Diocese of Utah it is incumbent upon me to be concerned about the welfare of the people of our diocese, and by extension, to all the people who reside in the diocese whether they be Episcopalians or not. Governor Gary Herbert has issued recommendations to the people of Utah, including limiting mass gatherings.

 I am supporting Governor Herbert's recommendations. I have asked that our congregations suspend worship services for a two-week period beginning on Monday, March 16. This means that the next Sunday worship will be on Palm Sunday, April 5. As my brother bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Van Koevering of the Diocese of Lexington wrote in response to the governor of Kentucky requesting churches to suspend services for the time being: “I am loathe to cancel services, but I do support the Governor’s recommendation and think that I must humbly ask our faith communities to practice a Lenten fast of public worship... as a sign of love for one’s neighbor especially the most vulnerable.”

To read Bishop Hayashi's full letter regarding COVID-19, click here.
To find more information about Governor Gary Herbert's recommendations, click here.
Join Us for a St. Mark's Livestream Eucharist this Sunday
A recorded morning prayer from St. Mark's and services from the National Cathedral will also be available.
The Very Rev. Tyler Doherty will conduct a live internet only Eucharist from the Cathedral Church of St. Mark on Sunday, March 22nd at 10:30 in the morning. Watch for the link to the live stream player on the diocesan website , which will appear at 10:15 on Sunday. The service will start at 10:30 am MDT. That Eucharist will then be archived for viewing at anytime.

Dean Doherty has also recoded Morning Prayer for viewing. It is available now by clicking here. You are also encouraged to view internet streamed services from the Washington D.C. Cathedral that are being conducted for internet viewing. That link can be found here.

Priests, including The Very Rev. Doherty will also record more services, and the diocese anticipates doing more live Eucharist services depending on how long we must remain closed for gatherings under government orders and recommendations. Pray for those who are assisting patients, those who have been impacted, those who we have asked to guide us medically, spiritually, and in our government, and those who are concerned. Pray for all at this time. God bless.
Episcopal Office of Government Relations Statement
and Recommendations on COVID-19
March 11, 2020
Christians have an obligation to care for people who are poor, sick, in prison, or strangers (Matthew 25: 34 – 46) and in times of great crisis, the federal government is an important resource to help meet a community’s needs. In response to the coronavirus COVID-19, The Episcopal Church encourages everyone to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control’s  recommendations to prevent the spread   of this virus so that we do not unintentionally harm our neighbors at home, at school, at work, or in our general community. While some individuals may be at low-risk for the disease, we must ensure we are not transmission vectors that bring the virus into a community where many are at risk.

In particular, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are the most susceptible to serious symptoms; therefore, we encourage people to also review the CDC’s  recommendations for those at high risk ,  including limiting travel and public gatherings. While physically visiting and engaging with those at high risk can be more challenging, we encourage people to call, video chat, or write to their friends or loved ones who are quarantined so that, while they may need to be physically separated, they will not be alone.

As there is a significant amount of potentially harmful misinformation being shared on social media, we strongly recommend people rely on the  CDC’s Coronavirus resources  or  Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Center   for information. All people should also familiarize themselves with the state and local public health departments and follow the recommendations of medical and public health officials. Parishes and other community organizations can find specialized recommendations from the CDC  here .

Resources Available During Coronavirus Pandemic
United Way 2-1-1, is a great resource to direct the public to for those who might need food pantry assistance. 2-1-1 has an app and a website with very useful information. 

Food insecurity aid is just one of the many resources available. By simply dialing 2-1-1, using the Utah211 App or going to the website:  https://211utah.org/ , people can connect to health and human resources.
New Episode of Utah Epodcopalians: Bishop Search
As you well know, Bishop Scott B. Hayashi is retiring next year and we are deep in the process of finding his replacement.

On this episode of Utah Epodcopalians, we are joined by The Rev. Michael Carney from St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church to discuss how the search is going!