It is impossible to believe that we are so many months into this pandemic and social distancing practice. When we decided to close our doors to the public in March, we transitioned to an online church. Most of us thought and hoped that it would for a short period of time only. We were wrong.
We had Zoom services until we learned to pre-record online services. Grace was open for in-person for a brief time this spring, but Covid-19 forced us back to online worship.
We returned to in-person social distancing worship on September 20. Today’s service is different from before the pandemic, but it remains a full expression of the beauty, substance, and depth of worship in the Episcopal tradition.
We continue to offer online opportunities for worship, and we continue working to improve the virtual worship experience. Your vestry authorized improvements to our cameras and sound system. Phillip is committed to helping us use music prayerfully as we reimagine our online and in-person worship services.
We continually work to gather our scattered community to actively build community and bring our church into our lives in a more powerful way. We know there will be change, and we know that it will be different than what we have gotten used to, but we hope it will be better.
All of us are committed to remaining faithful to our vocation and our core commitments of loving God, loving our neighbors, and loving ourselves as best we can in the midst of this moment. We thank you for your continued support and encouragement as we navigate these challenging times together.
How we worship in person
We are still amid pandemic precautions. Masks are required, as is appropriate social distancing. We have created visual aids to observe safe communal worship practices. We thoroughly clean and disinfect our worship space for each worship service. Other constraints make our gathering more challenging than in the past, but we promise to navigate them all to prevent the spread of COVID illness, and we thank you for your flexibility. As is the case now, there will only be accessible to the Parish Hall and handicapped-accessible restrooms on the first level are open. We continue to gather for Morning Prayer Rite II iZoom for the foreseeable future as we await a vaccine for the Coronavirus.
How long will we be worshiping like this?
We expect to worship in this way until a vaccine is available or until some other significant clinical breakthrough with COVID 19. As soon as we can be together, we want to be together. There will be challenges ahead as we seek to perfect our worship experience. We ask for your patience as we navigate through them. Hopefully, these changes will increase our sense of connection and invite new participation.
What about programming?
Our doors are locked, but we have installed a doorbell. Doo codes are active. Your staff is here to serve you, and we are taking appointments for meetings. Programming will take place on Zoom. There is a lot of work to be done to keep our community connected, centered, and faithful, and we are committed to it. We know that this is hard, but we know that we will find a blessing if we persevere.