Recently our Wednesday Morning Bible Study began the Letter of James. And I was struck by the opening verses of the first chapter, “my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” I must confess that I have not always considered the pandemic with joy (and there are days I considered the pandemic with uncouth language), but today I am quite joyful because of some important news about worship at and in the Chapel of the Cross.
Thanks to new guidance from the Bishop, we can resume in-person worship in the Chapel of the Cross. Moreover, we can resume our traditional worship schedule with services at 7:30a, 8:45a, 11a, and 5p. Some pandemic mitigations do continue: attendance will be capped at 40 participants at each service, mask wearing and social distancing will be expected, your temperature may be checked before you enter, the Holy Eucharist will only be offered in one kind (bread), congregational singing can’t resume, and the Chapel will be cleaned after each service. You can make a reservation for each service via SignUpGenius. If a service is full, please ask an usher to check you in.
One of the Sunday services each week will continue to be broadcast on our website, Vimeo, and Facebook Live. Will and I will also begin to offer a brief, simple service of Holy Eucharist on Wednesdays at 5:30p for those who are still trepidatious as the pandemic continues. The Wednesday service will be outside and we will continue to use the FM transmitter for those who want to remain in their car. Will and I are still thrilled to offer Garden Eucharists to anyone who wants to host a service in their yard, garden, etc. And we will continue to offer a virtual service of meditation and prayer via Facebook Live at least once a week.
The Vestry and I made the decision to resume in-person worship in the Chapel because of new guidance published by our bishop last week. In light of his new guidance, the Virus Committee and I crafted new versions of our Reopening Plan and Policies and the Vestry approved them unanimously. The Bishop’s guidance and the new Plan and Policies are linked below. I am so very grateful for the help and leadership of our bishop, diocesan staff, Virus Committee, Vestry, and Wardens. They are excellent and wise folk.
Our new Plan and Policies also allow EYC, weekday adult formation, and meetings to resume, and the parish office to reopen; however, Sunday morning classes (including Catechesis of the Good Shepherd), nursery care, choir, and Wednesday Night Supper can not resume yet. Some of our weekday classes, activities, and meetings will meet in-person, some will meet in-person with an option to join via Zoom, and some will continue to be entirely virtual. Keep an eye on your email or contact your group’s leader for details about your group’s plan.
I am so excited to see many of you on Sunday in the Chapel. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please ask. Be well & be joyful.
Keep the Faith,