We are in the tenth week of our fast from in-person gathering. This time of physical distancing and creative ways of worshiping and just generally being who we are as a community of faithful, Spirit-led people has lasted far longer than anyone thought or planned. We find ourselves in a place of continuing our lives and our life together, while also feeling as if so much has stopped, even as we wait to see how this will enfold.
This is a time in which we seem to have more questions than answers. When will we be able to gather together again? When we are able, what will that look like? Will there be things we can't do right away or perhaps for a very long time? How can we know that what we do will be done safely? Who gets to decide? Will we ever be the same?
Your Vestry and I have been thinking about and praying with these questions for a while now. It is important to us that you know some of what we have been thinking and doing, even as we tell you honestly that we don't yet have the answers to most of those questions. What we can tell you is that we continue to live our faith, to be "the Church on Main Street, where love begets love", though the ways we do that now and likely will for some time are different.
As we think and pray about next steps, there are a few basic premises in our discussions:
Every decision we make, large or small, will be rooted in our call to love one another and to care well for each other and the larger community.
- We will err on the side of caution, however inconvenient, because we take quite seriously our responsibility to lead faithfully as both an expression of our love for you and a reflection of God's love for all.
- Though we take our commitment as the identified leaders of the parish seriously, we hold our authority loosely, meaning that we will follow the guidance of the Governor, our local public health officials, and Bishop Hughes, all of whom are paying close and constant attention to the science and medical expertise as they make their decisions.
- We have been and will continue to listen to you as you express your fears about how Covid 19 is impacting you and your families, just as we listen to your hopes for the time we are able to gather in-person again.
We will be sending more information as the conversation continues. For now, we ask your patience and your prayers as we do this sacred work.
Peace & Blessings,
Rev. Paula+ and Your Vestry: Maryalice Chech, Roger Riedel, Fran Taber, Kira Hanson, Eugene Foley, Michael Priddy, and Clerk/Recording Secretary Barbara Riedel