13 March Covid-19 Update—
ALL SAINTS WILL BE CLOSED 13 MARCH thru 27 MARCH
I pray that you are all well, and that you are finding strength in God, and are being gentle with yourselves and those near to you as we wander further into the Lenten desert of very uncharted territory. The last few days have been exhausting for all of us as we desperately try to process all the rapidly changing information that comes at us and scramble to adapt to new situations.
The wardens, the staff, and I have continued to prayerfully discuss, and faithfully seek understanding of the reality surrounding us. Together we have weighed the import of official recommendations and risk assessments, and struggled to balance those with compassion for all in our community including and especially those most at risk. This has been and will continue to be a painful process. This is not the last difficult decision we will need to make and we must continually rely on our faith in Christ, and the resilience of one another to labor on.
With that said, the wardens and I have come to the heartbreaking decision that as of 10 pm tonight 13 March, All Saints Parish will be closed to all groups until 27 March. There will be no in-person meetings, or gatherings of any kind. I deeply regret the disruption this will cause our community, not only the parish community but all of the other worship, music, art and recovery groups that also meet here. Our Senior Warden put it well when he said, “As much as it may seem to be surrendering to a dark force, we cannot ignore our God-given wisdom, as best we humans have been able to discern, informing us that even gathering while attempting to maintain distances is simply impractical in the setting of worship in the church structure. We will worship together, but not physically.”
What does this mean for us?
Sunday, 15 March. No one should come to church. Morning Prayer will be broadcast online. Look for an information tomorrow on how to watch it. The service we will use can be downloaded here.
Sunday, 22 March. No one should come to church. We will have some form of online service but I’ve not decided yet exactly what platform we will use, or what form that will take—stay tuned!
There are other ways to connect
Morning Prayer. Starting Monday 16 March, I will lead online Morning Prayer at 7:00 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays via zoom. Here is the link to join Monday’s prayer other links will be made available later.
Compline. Starting Tuesday 17 March, I will lead online spoken Compline at 8:00 pm via zoom. Link forthcoming. If anyone would like to join me in leading these offices, please let me know. Office can be led by lay people.
If you’ve never had experience with zoom, this might be an easy way to try it, and it will be a way for us to check-in with each other and pray together.
Other meetings. The vestry meeting on 18 March will be via zoom. All Adult Education meetings (men’s book group, brown-bag bible study, etc.) are cancelled, unless the leaders would like to organize them via zoom—if so let me know. All other events and activities at All Saints are cancelled until 27 March. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation and make other decisions as needed.
I am so grateful for all of your support and kindness during this. I am especially grateful for the wise and faithful leadership we have. This is a beloved community and I know you will continue to hold one another in prayer, reach out to one another via phone, text, and social media. We will keep you informed of any and all updates as we continue to move together in the future that God continues to hold out to us.
O God, the source of all health: So fill our hearts with faith in your love, that with calm expectancy we may make room for your power to possess us, and gracefully accept your healing, your guidance, and your strength; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In grief and gratitude,