COVID-19 Update

Sisters and Brothers,

This afternoon I received a notification from the Diocese that Sunday Services and non-worship gatherings are cancelled. We shall be exploring a possibility of live-streaming, perhaps for Morning Prayer and homily — a simple service you could watch from home. There is another possibility you shall read of below.

I am consulting with our parish leaders as we move forward.

What we definitely know — No gatherings at the church for non-worship or worship, from now through March 22. I hope to know more if we can resume Sunday gatherings, and Lenten programs by March 25. I shall keep you posted. That means worship, Lenten programs are cancelled for the time being.
As you may be hearing today, we as churches, where people are in close proximity, are in a growing group of cancellations for a period of time. The number of cases in our area are growing.

As I have read the directives from other Bishops, we are not alone. The National Cathedral is closed until March 25, by directive of the Bishop of Washington, DC, the Rt Rev Mariann Budde. This Sunday Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will preach from their site. Bishop Budde preaches for the 22nd. I shall send another email with how to connect with that site.

The pastoral concern – our prayers – for our people in our parish and beyond who are vulnerable, afraid, and whose lives or loved ones have been impacted.

Let us hold each other, those in our nation and throughout the world in prayers, compassion and love. We are all the beloved of our Father. As I have said, exercise common sense, be calm, and trust in

the Lord.

Blessings — my love and prayers, dear ones, Fr. Steve

We consulted with clergy and lay leaders across the Diocese in the open-invitation Zoom call this morning, as well as experts in the medical field. We are in conversation with our sister and brother bishops in neighboring dioceses, and consulting with our ecumenical partners in North Carolina. We have heard the voice of our Presiding Bishop.

Incorporating the information from all of those resources, it has been decided that for a period of at least two weeks starting this weekend, including the next two Sundays, we are directing all of our churches to suspend all in-person worship. The two-week minimum time span is significant as it matches the known incubation period for the virus following exposure. As we approach Sunday, March 29, we will evaluate the situation and determine whether it is recommended and advisable for public services to resume.

All non-worship gatherings are also to be cancelled, postponed or moved online.

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