Yesterday Bishop Susan sent a pastoral letter to the diocese. After noting the upward trends in Covid-19 statistics, she observed, "I think God is asking us to take a season away from in-person worship for the sake of our people and our community.

She has directed all congregations to refrain from in-person worship in July. After consultation with our Worship Taskforce and our next rector, Fr. Andrew Butler, it has been determined that St. Margaret's will not consider resuming in-person worship before September. You can be assured that these decisions have been guided by much prayer.

At our Zoom Coffee Hour last week, Jane Hodnik made a very profound observation. She had been approaching our online worship sad about the dimensions of in-person worship it cannot afford. But last Sunday, she realized online worship brings its own new dimensions that cannot be matched in person: very close and direct eye contact with the speakers, choice of time and setting, the ability to replay something for added appreciation and more.

I would never attend the Super Bowl. I can see the action better on TV. I will attend in-person worship in the future. It's MUCH better than the Super Bowl and less expensive. But the analogy has merit: there are parts of online worship that are special and superior. Let's relish those and look forward to a time when we can enjoy the best of both with deeper appreciation than ever.

In the meantime, Jesus calls his disciples to play a constructive part in safeguarding the health of all: Stay home as much as you can. Avoid even small gatherings with others who do not seem to be sick. Such gatherings have been a major source of contagion in our county. Use a facial covering when you do need to go out, and wash, wash, wash. The Pharisees were right in washing their hands; they were just wrong to get huffy about it. If we all follow these steps, no one will be tempted to get huffy!

Pastor Kathleen Kelly,   
Interim Rector  
47535 State Hwy. 74
Palm Desert, CA 92260
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