Dear Friends in Christ,
Today, in light of the growing coronavirus outbreak, our Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesial Authority, the Rt. Rev. Susan Goff, held a Zoom call with some 185 clergy of the diocese. In the call, the Bishop announced that all public worship services of the churches of the diocese should be cancelled for the next two weeks, specifically for Sundays, March 15 and 22. This is a highly unusual decision and, in my opinion, the right decision to make. We have all been trying to find the right place to land between healthy and unhealthy fear. I think this decision provides time to consider with some thoughtfulness how we will be a worshiping community together going forward.
The principal concern is the risk of the spread of the virus in gatherings of people. So, for these next two weeks any gatherings larger than 10-15 people or so will also be cancelled. Our staff gathered this afternoon to brainstorm these different gatherings at the church and to make plans for communicating directly with each group or committee. The staff has also begun to think about how we might gather virtually for worship. I hope to be able to let you know more about this over the next two days. I also want to make clear that the church office is opened. The staff will continue to come to work and you are certainly welcomed to come by if you like. I am also making plans for a called meeting of the vestry over these next days to discuss and pray about how God is calling us to be the church in the midst of current uncertainties. We are all committed to communicating clearly and perhaps frequently with you over these next days and weeks.
Please be assured that you are in my prayers, and I urge you to keep one another in your own prayers. Please pray as well for all those affected by this outbreak wherever they may be, for those who are sick and for all those caring for them. Please pray for all those who hold the public trust of elected office that they may be given wisdom to make decisions for the welfare of all people.
Though we may not be meeting for worship together, we are still God’s Church in this world and with and for one another. Remember that Jesus said, ‘in this world there will be tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world’. And so, we always live in hope.
Your brother in Christ,
The Reverend David May