Many of us in our parish have been watching with concern as infection rates rise in our world, nation, and region during this pandemic. We are writing to inform you about the suspension of in-person worship at St. Paul’s Church, effective immediately.
At a meeting last night attended by the clergy and wardens, the Bishop announced this diocesan-wide suspension on the advice of the diocese’s COVID-response task force. The temporary suspension is in effect for four weeks and further guidance will be provided.
The recommendation from the Task Force came after much thoughtful discussion and on the advice of medical professionals. New York State, including our region, has been added to the “at risk for outbreak” category because of rapidly rising infections rate. Yesterday’s positivity rate in Monroe County was 4.5%, up from 3.3% the day before and an average of over 2% for the week prior — this is a rapid increase and positivity rates are actually lagging indicators of the infection rate. For more information, visit: https://covidactnow.org/us/new_york-ny/county/monroe_county?s=1290308
We have learned over the last few months that the mission and ministry of St. Paul’s Church does not end because of physical distancing. We will continue our worship, formation, pastoral care, and outreach:
Worship will be online only via YouTube live. Sundays will be live-streamed at 9:15am (link sent on Saturdays) with the recording available after.
Parishioners can continue to connect with each other during Virtual Coffee Hour at 10:00am on Sundays via Zoom.
Adult Christian Formation will continue on Wednesday evenings via Zoom.
Noonday Prayer will continue Mondays-Fridays via Facebook Live.
Compline will continue to be made available for your private prayer each week.
Morning Prayer is now said via Zoom at 8:00am on Thursdays.
- Pastoral Services (i.e. funerals) may continue with limited attendance.
- The Parish Office will remain open, outreach efforts will continue, meetings will remain on Zoom and pastoral care will continue as safely as possible.
For some, this will be seen as a wise decision. We also realize that this decision will be disappointing to some of you who have been attending in-person worship and we hope that you understand that the decision was not made lightly and is made to combat COVID-19 in the parishes of our diocese. Likewise, we hope the suspension will be short-lived.
Please continue to pray for those who have contracted COVID-19 throughout our nation and the world, for our health care professionals and essential workers, and for our parish, especially those most vulnerable, isolated, and lonely. And, please be assured of our prayers for you.
The Rev. Robert Picken, Rector
Nancy Reale, Warden
Rita Lancy, Warden