Amid the swirl of current health, social and political realities the Vestry began its meeting last night listing our blessings. We shared our sense of fatigue, and yet like the loaves and fishes Jesus multiplied and fed the crowd, so God nourished us in our shared blessing of the community of SJtL.
The meeting agenda last night centered on reviewing the survey results and planning for gatherings both worship and social in the future.
The Vestry’s prime concern is safety.
The Vestry approved the addition of an air cleaning filtration system called Clean Entrance to the church’s HVAC system. This added protection will mitigate not only COVID-19 throughout the building but other airborne pathogens as well making us a safer place to worship now and always.
Five Vestry members will join the staff and clergy to develop St James the Less procedures for safe in person gatherings following State of Illinois and the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago guidelines.
While the survey only yielded 43 separate entries, it did guide us toward a few priorities as we plan: We are a diverse community with different opinions on what we like and what we feel comfortable with. When worship is offered in person it will also have be offered online on Zoom or YouTube. Parishioners do want connection in more forms including social, prayer groups, studies, outreach and most of all Worship participation.
Four takeaways were offered at the end of the meeting to pass on to the wider community:
The church has purchased a new camera and added Ethernet wired into the sanctuary to support recording and livestreaming worship services. (This Sunday a pre-recorded Morning Prayer Worship service filmed in the sanctuary led by Rev. Lisa, Josh, and a few parishioners will be offered.)
The Clean Entrance air cleaning system will be installed in the next three weeks. The Vestry and Executive teams recommend that we refrain from gatherings in the church building until the system is in place. (if you want to know more reach out to Dane Cleven or Hope Martin)
While we wait for the air filtration system to make the building safer, the vestry encourages outside worship and other outside small group social gatherings on the church property.
The Vestry is excited about the new ministry of Cindy Lund. She has been calling all the families and teachers in July. Her ministry with the students begins in August with “Compassion Camp” a home delivered curriculum which includes a weekly Zoom gathering. Also the older youth, who are more capable of keeping social distance, will kick off this Sunday with a bonfire and s’mores on the church property.
The Vestry of St James the Less is composed:
Clerk, Maureen Burke
Treasurer, Mary Saunders
Senior Warden, Dane Cleven
Junior Warden, Hope Martin