My dear friends in Christ,
If you have not yet heard, I’m sure you soon will (especially if you’re reading this message!) ~ Bishop Matt will be granting parishes in the diocese the option of resuming limited & restricted in-person worship services, as early as the first Sunday in Lent.
Essentially, the diocesan guidelines will be what they were back over the summer, before the Covid numbers and hospital overcrowding spiked drastically in the fall, prompting the diocese-wide suspension of in-person worship which has remained in effect till now. Even though the overall statistics have not yet come back down to the levels we saw back over the summer, the more severe hospital overcrowding has, and the bishop and the Covid Task Force have come to the conclusion that limited in-person worship can resume with fairly low levels of risk, as long as all the safety procedures are strictly followed.
As I’m sure you recall, even when the diocese gave us permission to gather last summer, I nevertheless required All Saints to remain closed and our worship to remain virtual. Given the demographics of our particular parish, I felt the risks to our congregation were too high to do otherwise. Now, however, while it is true that the Covid rates in our area are still higher than they were over the summer, even so, I believe that we are in a much better position to begin resuming some forms of in-person worship here at All Saints.
We do not yet have a specific date for our first Sunday on in-person worship. I will be working very closely with the Executive Committee of our Vestry, as well as with our Online Ministry Team, to make sure that when we bring people back into our worship space, we will do so as safely as possible, and as reverently as possible, whilst still providing online access to our worship services for everyone who cannot attend in person and/or who are not comfortable attending in person as long as the pandemic rages on.
So stay tuned! Much more information will be forthcoming shortly as we work out the logistics of this momentous change. It has been nearly a year since we were able to worship together in person last. That’s a long time … and, as Indiana Jones famously observed, “It’s not [just] the years … it’s the mileage” that makes a big difference, too. We’ve been through a lot of miles since last March. It’s time to come back together ~ even if we can only do so in very limited ways, and even if the experience will not yet be what it once was.
Please pray for us as we work out the details to make this happen, and let’s all continue to pray for this incredible faith community that we share.
Yours in Christ,
Parish Office Hours (during covid-19)
CONTACT THE PARISH OFFICE
Phone (920) 734-3656 or (920) 249-4147