Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
With the return of cold weather, closed windows, and the need to fire up furnaces (many of which are forced hot air systems with minimal filtration), I believe we once again need to ask everyone attending church to wear face masks throughout the service, even when sitting in the pews. Clergy leading the service and Lectors reading the lessons may remove their masks while reading, provided they are at least six feet away from anyone around them. I know the wearing of masks can be an irritant to many folks, but during this time in which many of our communities are experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases, I think it is best to err on the side of caution, in order ensure the safety of all members of our parish families.
I greatly appreciate the support and cooperation of everyone as we try to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of any one in any of our congregations who has caught or transmitted COVID-19 in Church. I give thanks to God for that, and I also thank each of you for the seriousness that has been shown thus far in implementing the Diocese of Albany precautions designed to fight the Corona Virus Pandemic.
The recent report that at least two different vaccines have proven highly successful in preventing COVID-19, and will soon be ready for distribution to the most vulnerable in our society is wonderful news. In the meantime however, it is important that we continue to exercise appropriate precautions.
I pray that each of you and your loved ones have an enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving celebration. God Bless!
Faithfully Yours in Christ,
Rt. Rev. William H. Love
Bishop of Albany