Friends,

So many have reached out since yesterday evening with love, concern, questions, and suggestions for how we can stay spiritually close while physically distant. I do want to expand on one thing that I wrote yesterday.

I intend to be at the church on Sunday mornings from 8:00 – Noon. I plan to spend this time in prayer for our community and the world. I suspect that people will come to the church, either visitors or members, who don’t know that the church is closed. I will pray with those who come.  BUT, I will ask them not to linger at the church. The point of social distancing is to stop the spread of disease by staying apart; we all need to do this. To reiterate, we are NOT holding public services at St. Gregory’s through the end of March. If people come here, I will pray with them and bless them on their way.  
 
And, we're making plans to offer a live stream of a modified Sunday liturgy via Facebook Live. The broadcast will take place this Sunday at 10 AM, and you can find it on St. Gregory’s Facebook Page . The live stream will begin right at 10:00 (technological challenges notwithstanding!) and go for 30 minutes or so. We’re researching other platforms on which to live stream, but Facebook is the easiest to get started on, so that’s where we’ll be. 

There is also an opportunity to join weekday Morning Prayer, lead by Sarah Lehman. In this time of social distancing, we invite you to gather for morning prayer online on weekdays (plus Saturday) at 7:30 a.m. via Zoom. Instructions on how to join the weekday call on your computer or phone are here (same each day). The group that has been praying this way regularly has been using the Daily Office app by Argyle Software : all the readings and prayers in one place. (Feel like evening prayer/Compline is more your thing? Comment here and we'll make it happen).

Because so much of our life is about generously sharing the table , I have put together a service called Agapé Prayers for Meals , which you can use with your household, whether two or twenty. And just to be clear – this isn’t a substitute for the Eucharist. It does many of the things we do liturgically around the Eucharist, such as light candles and bless the light, hear scripture read and sing a psalm, and say prayers of blessing over the food and sharing experiences. I hope that this service will be a way of maintaining a sense of connection around the table while we are apart.
 
There are so many resources out there about what to do in the pandemic – everything from hand washing to how to navigate an airport. One thing that may be helpful are resources for talking to younger people about COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus outbreak. Here are a few:





Every day there will be new challenges as well as new promises that attend this pandemic. My prayer is for peace and comfort in the days ahead. Stay connected to each other, and do what you need to do to stay healthy.

Peace,
Paul