Grace and peace be with you brothers and sisters in Christ! It goes without saying that these are some difficult and trying times for us on global, national, local, and personal levels, as we continue to cope with the effects of Covid19. Indeed, in varying ways, all of us have had to adapt and make some difficult but necessary changes to our daily lives; altering habits, behaviors, and the like.
As a community of faith, being physically apart from each other has been most difficult over the course of these past few months (which feels like an eternity!). Yet I must say that I have been moved, encouraged, and greatly appreciate those who have joined together each week for on our online worship services, and I am thankful to those of you who have reached out to each other, looking out for each other’s wellbeing. And let me also thank you for your ongoing financial support of our parish and our common life and work.
As you know, our local and state government has taken slow but steady steps towards ending the lockdown and reopening the economy. Bishop Dietsche has given the parishes in the Diocese permission to reopen and resume worship as they/we are able and feel comfortable and confident in doing so. In preparation, last week, we sent out an online survey, and let me just thank those of you who took the time to participate and give us your feedback. Based on the results, it is clear that there is a general/majority consensus that we want to gather for worship, yet, we want to do so safely and responsibly (even if that means waiting a bit longer).
Thus, in consultation with the wardens and vestry, it has been decided that we will reopen our
for the resumption of in-person worship services on
Sunday, July 19
. As we are yet uncertain of the impacts of indoor gatherings, we will be offering an
8:00 am service in Memorial Garden for the time being with the option of going indoors due to inclement weather, and will continue to stream our services online at 10:00 am.
Please note these service details below:
- 8:00 am outdoor service Memorial Garden (weather permitting)
- 30 people maximum
- Must wear mask/face coverings at all times, excluding receiving the Holy Eucharist
- Must maintain social distancing guidelines with the exception of families, spouses/partners
- Attendees are required to register/sign in either online prior or on site so that we can have contact tracing in the event of an outbreak of the virus
- At this time singing is prohibited until further notice
- Attendees will be given individual bulletins upon arrival and will be asked to place them in recycling bin after service
- We ask that during the exchanging of the peace be limited to gestures such as bowing, praying hands, hands on heart
- The distribution of the Holy Eucharist will consist of the bread only for the time being. The priest will follow all health protocols to ensure the bread is distributed responsibly (i.e. hand sanitizing, gloves, etc.)
- Hand sanitizer will be available for use prior and after the Eucharist
- For the time being there will be no coffee hour
- We ask that if you feel ill or suspect that you may have been exposed to someone who has Covid19 that you refrain from attending services and if necessary seek medical attention
My brothers and sisters, I know that this is far from ideal. Yet, we must respond to the situation at hand accordingly and again, responsibly. Therefore, I want to thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation as we navigate these difficult waters
together. God willing we will get through this, and it is my hope, prayer, and belief that we will be stronger as a parish-family for this experience, bound together all the more tightly with bonds of God’s love.
In Christ, Fr. Owen+