It is because of that wish to keep one another close and connected, which we all feel so keenly as a staff at All Saints’, that I am writing this letter to you all so that I can share some updates on our life together in this current season. On March 15th, we began what was then a two-week hiatus of in-person gatherings on and off our block. That period was to end on Saturday, March 28th. It has now become clear to us, following consultation with lay leadership, taking expert advice and adhering to CDC guidelines for gatherings over 50 people, that we will need to extend that period to eight weeks in total. That will mean that our first service back at All Saints’ would be on Sunday, May 10th. It is possible, of course, that we will be able safely to return to church earlier than that date, and conversely, it is possible that we may need to stay as we currently are for longer than these eight weeks. However events unfold, please be assured that we will be in clear and continuous communication with you all.
During this interim we remain the church and we remain the saints. The midweek and Friday e-news emails, alongside our website, will continue to offer a straightforward guide for how to access classes, groups, and meetings that you can take part in remotely online. We will continue to broadcast our Sunday service and our services through the week. We will extend care to one another, clergy and lay staff and parishioners all working together to carry each of us through this time of adversity and isolation. Our sextons will do a deep clean of the whole campus while we are away, and all of our staff — salaried and hourly — will continue to be paid at the rate of their regular working hours. We continue to care for the block and we are keeping a close eye on the safety and security of the campus. Larger-scale endeavors that we had planned to carry out this spring will be postponed. The wide-ranging process that was planned to engage the parish over the future of our block will be slated to launch in the fall, and the status of pilgrimages planned to the UK for our youth and to Alabama for a large group of parishioners both this summer is being assessed. Weddings and funerals will not be happening, and weddings falling within or close after this eight-week period are being rescheduled.
With so much change and disruption to our life together and to the daily pattern of our lives in this city and beyond, where is the light on the horizon? For me, it is a daily visitation. The love I see being shared so freely and expressed with such tenderness among members of this church community. The concern that I hear articulated by the saints for those in distress or sickness or any kind of trouble or need, and the creative ways offered for how those needs might be met. The small glimpses of God’s glory ever-present in creation, in one another, and within ourselves, that teach me over and over that this too will pass, and that we will walk this difficult path together. To that end, I encourage you wholeheartedly to reach out to us with any concern or question that you may have. We are here for you as you are here for us in a myriad of ways. Though we are many, now dispersed, we remain and always will be one body, in Christ and in love.