Though Grace St. Paul’s does not have a meteorologist on staff and as I keep advising all of you, I am in sales, not marketing, and therefore have no control over the weather, we are taking our best guess as to when it will be more comfortable to shift our outdoor service to the afternoon. Our prognostication has led us to make the switch this coming Sunday, November 22, the last Sunday in the Season of Creation. Starting this coming Sunday, the outdoor service will begin at 12:30 PM.

The recent surge in COVID infections around the world suggests that we made the right decision not moving to an inside service. The outdoor service has been popular, so popular that some have suggested we continue meeting outdoors occasionally even after the pandemic subsides. Our protocols at the outdoor service include six foot distancing between chairs, masks at all times, no movement at Prayers of the People, and a no touch Communion in one kind only. Safety is our first concern. When the weather becomes too inclement, we will just not have the service.

Our main worship will continue to be the live streamed service. That happens every Sunday at 10 AM at tinyurl.com/gspvirtual. If you have not logged on to our live streamed service for a while, we ask that you check it out again. We have become very proficient and professional at it and I dare say it is one of the best technically produced services out there right now.

As we move into Advent, we will be adding a wreath lighting ceremony to the service. Also, mark your calendars for Advent Two, December 6. That happens to also be the feast day of one St. Nicholas. After months of skillful negotiations between your Rector and the Fourth Century Bishop of Myra, Nicholas is going to be with us during the 10 AM live stream. Children will want to be present at the outdoor service that day to see what Nicholas left them, but adults you will be very sorry if you miss the Bishop’s stand up act on the live stream. 

A note from Jessica regarding how this affects Sunday School:
“Our wonderful Sunday School leaders will be offering lesson-based activities during the 12:30pm outdoor service. Kids will stay with their parents through the Gospel reading, then follow the Sunday School leader to the Labyrinth for some fun! Kids will rejoin their families and the congregation during the peace.

We are very excited to be together and see each other again, and, of course, each family must continue to make their own decisions on what feels best for them. We understand if coming in-person isn't for you yet. During Sunday School we will honor COVID-19 precautions of mask-wearing and social-distancing. Hand sanitizer will also be available. We ask that one parent or older sibling will accompany their littlest child/ren for their time in Sunday School on the Labyrinth for safety reasons.

Zoom Sunday School will continue to be offered at 9:15am. The link is in the e-blast!”

Christmas is apparently still following Advent this year, so stay tuned. We are figuring all that out as we continue to live through this unprecedented time. 

I urge all of you to remain very vigilant in protecting yourselves through the COVID winter in front of us. Hope is on the horizon beloved. Stay safe now so we can all be back together soon thereafter. I love you all. Let us be thankful that we are so deeply connected to each other spiritually until we can be back together physically.