June 19, 2020
Sustained by God’s love, we welcome all.
Nourished by Christ’s compassion we feed the hungry,
work for justice and care for one another.
Enlivened by the Holy Spirit we celebrate sacred mystery
through prayer, worship, and music
Mission Statement adopted June 20, 2019
After prayerful and extensive conversation with parishioners, colleagues and health professionals, the Wardens, Vestry and clergy have decided not to begin phasing in worship in our building until the fall. While we can see and experience signs of opening up in New York City, there are still too many unknowns around what that will mean for potential increases in Covid-19 infections. Even as many of us long for the day when we can gather together in a common space, engaging in-person worship at this point may invite public health consequences that we are not willing to risk.
This decision was not made lightly, but I believe that it is the option that most fully aligns with our mission statement above. Holy Apostles is a community with a commitment to radical welcome, but we will not be able to welcome all—or even a majority—at the beginning of July. Our care for one another runs deep, necessitating caution when it comes to the health and safety of our sisters and brothers in Christ. Liturgy is central to our faith, but the current guidelines for worship in the building are so restrictive that any service held now would be a drastically reduced version of what we know and love.
If all evolves as we hope, our tentative plan is to begin gathering for Sunday worship again in September. At that time, it is likely that some of our gatherings will continue online, and I am exploring livestreaming Sunday liturgies in our beautiful sanctuary. Details will be contingent on the state of the virus and will be communicated toward the end of August. No matter what shape these details take, our call to patience and flexibility will continue for the foreseeable future.
As we move into that future together, know that our common life continues. Our building is not dark and empty. We are serving record-breaking numbers of meals every day to people in desperate need; 20,204 meals last week alone. Our devotion in prayer, worship and music remains strong: online liturgies invite us into new experiences of being together. Our commitment to each other is evident as we reach out and hold one another in prayer. We have been companions along the way during this fearsome time, sharing the faith, hope and love granted to us through Jesus Christ. God calls us still, and I am confident that the Holy Spirit will continue to sustain the people of Holy Apostles as we respond.