Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's Word to the Church: Holy Week and Easter Day 2020 Online Worship Supported and Encouraged
Last week I stated publicly my support for bishops who, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, decide "for a designated period of time . . . to cancel in-person gatherings for public worship." I write now concerning the need to suspend in-person gatherings for public worship, in most contexts, during the sacred time of Holy Week and Easter Day. Because this is a global health crisis, the principles in this letter apply throughout The Episcopal Church, including beyond the United States.
In this time when we are all affected by the coronavirus, whether directly or indirectly, whether physically, biologically, psychologically, spiritually, and for many economically, it may be helpful to remember that we're in this together.
Messages from the Bishop Regarding the Coronavirus and the Suspension of Public Worship
I write to you at the end of this Third Sunday in Lent instructing all congregations of the Diocese of Ohio to suspend services of public worship until further notice. As well, I ask you either to cancel or find virtual ways of gathering for all nonessential parish meetings.
The following events have been amended in the following ways:
Diocesan Council - March 19: This meeting has been moved to a Zoom call. Diocesan Council members have been notified.
Commission on Ministry In Person Meetings - March 19 and 20: These meetings are switching to Zoom meetings on Thursday and Friday. Participants have been notified.
Safeguarding - March 21 and 29: an electronic link will be made available for online training.
Sunday Night Student Compline - Sunday Nights: The Rev. Anna Sutterisch, Canon for Christian Formation, will hold Sunday Night Student Compline on Sunday nights at 8:00 p.m. Compline will be held via Zoom.
March Anti-Racism Training - March 26 and 27: postponed until time uncertain.
Lenten Lock-In - March 28 and 29: postponed until time uncertain.
Clergy Renewal of Vows - April 7: will not meet in person. Details to follow.
Province V ECW Meeting - May 1-3: postponed until the fall. More details to come.
Lay Preaching College - May 8 and 9: postponed until time uncertain.
Summer Camp - June 15-July 25:registration continues to be received. In case of cancelation, all down payments will be reimbursed in full.
New Resource at the Resource Library
The Resource Center is offering new resources. Through Loss to Life is a program for training people to lead an 8-week faith-based small group grief support program. This DVD has 8 segments of training and is 66 minutes long. It will lead the training covering these topics; 1. an introduction to the training, 2. Getting Ready, 3. Role of Facilitators, 4. Design and Flow of Each Session, 5. Group Engagement, 6. Session Highlights, 7. Program Enhancements, and 8. Last Words. There is a facilitator guide to use during the 8-week program providing the facilitator with everything needed to run each session.