A message from Bishop Haynes -  
more news on the coronavirus

"But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord*
 I have said, "You are my God.
My times are in your hand*
 Rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
Make your face to shine upon your servant*
 And in your loving kindness save me"
(Psalm 31:14-17)
The Psalmist reminds us that in all things, our times are in God's hands. In this time of evolving uncertainty around the coronavirus, the reminder that we are in God's certain hands is a timely reminder. As the situation evolves, we are gaining more information at the diocesan level that we are using to help us make decisions about our communal life together. Because there is so much about this virus that we don't know, our decisions and responses are also evolving and we do ask for the patience of everyone as sometimes we have to make decisions that are disappointing and unsettling.
Because we are learning that the transmission of this virus can happen as easily as that of the common cold, we are beginning to think about the ways in which we gather and how we ought to interact with one another. After consulting with epidemiologists and health officials as well as other church leaders, we have had to make the disheartening decision to cancel a few diocesan-wide events in the coming weeks. We will continue to evaluate this evolving situation beyond the next few weeks and keep you informed. The events which have currently been canceled are:
  • Safe Church Training scheduled for March 14
  • Happening, scheduled at Camp Chanco for the weekend of March 27-29
  • Clergy/Vestry Day scheduled for March 21
  • Clergy/Vestry Day scheduled for March 28
  • Clergy/Vestry Day scheduled for April 4
Information will be forthcoming about refunds of deposits paid for the Clergy/Vestry Days.
We realize that to some, this decision is distressing and disappointing. We too are distressed and disappointed; but given the lack of information we have on many levels about this virus, we are erring on the side of caution.
Please stay tuned to electronic communications from the Diocesan Office as we try to offer ways that we can stay connected with one another. Our challenge during this uncertain time is to continue to be the Church in times which challenge us. God has us in God's certain hands.
Prayer for People Critically Ill or Facing Great Uncertainty
God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.
-Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book, p. 765

Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia
11827 Canon Blvd., Suite 101, Newport News, VA 23606
757-423-8287      800-582-8292