Bishop Lee released this letter yesterday announcing a suspension of all in-person worship and gatherings due to the increase in COVID-19 cases around the Diocese. Around the same time, the Cook County Department of Public Health issued a Stay at Home Advisory. Both of these take effect on Monday. I believe these are very sensible responses to current conditions and am reminded of our call to love "the least of these", many of whom face increased risk of severe illness if infected.
We will still have our live-streamed Eucharist tomorrow morning as planned, with only the necessary participants in attendance -- so please tune in via Facebook at 9:15am. But we are implementing the following changes, effective Monday, November 16th:
- All worship will be via Zoom and Facebook Live. We will not be streaming from Emmanuel but will do online Morning Prayer from our homes as we did in the early months of the pandemic. We will gather for a brief social time from 9:00-9:15am, have the service from 9:15-10:00am, and then move into formation afterwards. You can find the Zoom link below.
- All meetings and activities will move online. The building is essentially closed.
- The staff will be teleworking until further notice, only coming to the church for essential duties and to check the building periodically.
I don't know how long this situation will last. The Bishop's directive is for at least three weeks and Cook County apparently intends at least 30 days. My sincere hope is that we will have the numbers down in time for Christmas so that we will be able to worship together in person.
If you would like to talk during this difficult time, please feel free to either call/text me or just reply to this email. I will also be in touch next week with some spiritual resources which you can use at home.
Finally, I bid your prayers for those who have contracted this virus and for all those working to stop the spread of disease.