Dear Ones,
With reluctance but with firm purpose for the good of all, I am suspending Church Services and Meetings for the next 2-3 weeks as our St. Hugh's contribution to "Flatten the Curve" of the spread of Covid-19. I do this after consulting with The Rev. Gwynn Lynch, Canon to the Ordinary (for congregational health) and Jacque, our Bishop's Warden, I have also asked that the 12-Step meetings at St. Hugh's be suspended as well.

Click the image below to understand better the logic and hope of Flattening the Curve. The virus is, according to the best estimates of public health care officials and scientists, going to spread. What we can do together is take precautions to slow the spread so that our healthcare system can cope with those in greatest need.

Below the image you will find other material and links to help you understand my decision and the love of God and neighbor that informs my decision.

In the days to come it is imperative that we maintain contact and communication with each other, encouraging each other, and assisting one another as best we can. You can reach me by email or phone me at home 951-659-5490. More to come, I promise. ~Fr. Dan

May God the Father bless us,
God the Son heal us,
God the Holy Spirit give us strength.
May God the holy and undivided Trinity
guard our bodies, save our souls,
and bring us safely to his heavenly country;
where he lives and reigns
for ever and ever.
(Prayer from Enriching Our Worship 3 , page 64, adapted)
In a Press Release today (3/12/20) Presiding Bishop Michael Curry encouraged us to work together in love for the good of all. The release closed with these words:

In an email to me last night our brother Mark Van Koevering of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington spoke of the decision to honor the Kentucky Governor’s request of religious leaders to suspend public worship with these words.

“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 this week as a sign of love for one’s neighbor especially the most vulnerable.”

Obedience to the moral primacy of love for the neighbor must direct us. My hope is that this will enable us to do that while maintaining the good order of the Church for the sake of following Jesus in God’s mission for God’s world.

God bless you and keep the faith.

At St. Margaret's in Palm Desert church services and meetings will be suspended for the next 2-3 weeks. In her email notification Pastor Kathleen Kelly wrote:

As the people of the Incarnation, we are called to embody divine goodness in the world. In our current time and place, that requires suspending most church services and meetings for 2-3 weeks, while providing as many resources as possible for continued spiritual nurture and attention to compelling needs.

The last 24 hours have been filled with health professionals imploring all to take stringent measures right now, so that the transmission rate of COVID-19 is slowed and health providers will be able to meet demand.
Yesterday, vigilant practices around hygiene seemed sufficient. This is no longer true. Pew backs cannot be wiped often enough. All sneezes cannot be suppressed. Handles and door knobs offer wonderful points of transfer for COVID-19.

For the next 2 weeks while more comes into view,  regular services will be suspended as will all church-sponsored meetings....

Dr. Daniele Macchini an Intensive Care Physician in Bergamo, Italy, gave a first hand account of what he is experiencing. He details how fast the virus spread and what happened in his hospital as a result. It is correctly attributed according to (Dr. Macchini is a real person who posted this on Facebook) and the picture he paints needs to give us inspiration for doing what we can to slow the spread of the virus by maintaining our health and assisting others to do the same, in order that our healthcare system can help those most in need. Read his entire post (translated from the Italian) here.

Locally, the Idyllwild Arts Academy is closing their campus beginning on March 14, 2020. On their Home Page the IAA writes: "To ensure the health of our students and our mountain community, there will be no students on campus from March 17 through April 18. Our students are taking a three week spring break beginning on March 14, followed by two weeks of online instruction. Arts as well as academic online classes are being offered to continue student engagement in IAA’s unique dual-curricular, accredited programs."
Fr. Dan