Beloved in Christ,
With new guidance about safe worship and the first glimmers of a time to gather again in person, I am writing to share news.
In his weekly call with clergy this past Tuesday, Bp. Gutiérrez shared that our diocese will need to continue in the current pattern of worship through June 14. Subsequently, churches in our diocese will begin phasing back toward communal worship in person--carefully and in consultation with him. There will be guidelines, for instance, for how many can safely be in a given amount of space. Details on this are expected mid-May, so we'll have a good month to plan ahead and adjust before beginning.
In the meantime, we are advised that with proper precautions, up to six (6) people in one place is now considered safe worship in our deanery (area within the diocese). I know that music quality online has been an issue. For now, being in the same space with good sound equipment is the best way we have to "produce" music for worship. So, I will be in the sanctuary this Sunday with Jim Smith (music) and John Donlevie (audiovisual). We are also exploring options, within the limits of the technology people have or we can readily get, to blend recorded parts with our Zoom platform for online Sunday worship.
You may be experiencing some bewilderment or even whiplash with all the changes we are being asked to make -- in general and even related to church life. That is more than understandable! I know Bishop Gutiérrez (+Daniel) is working his hardest to digest the best information and wisdom from public health officials, state, and local leaders, in consultation with other dioceses. I also know that in the midst of all the adjustments, so many in our parish are working hard not only to adjust, but also to make a positive difference in the lives of our families and in larger circles of care and compassion. God bless us all in that!
I hope you are feeling yourself connected to Trinity as a community of support and even joy in these troubled times. If not, please let me know! Let's continue to be there for one another, remembering that the risen Christ, in the Spirit, is there for all of us. And if you're not already, consider how you might use this disruption to normal patterns to build up your life of daily attention to God -- through prayer, bible study, and ways that you know connect you to the One who is Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.
Continued Easter blessings,
The Rev. Dr. Edward E. Thompson, Rector Friday, April 24, 2020