Dear People of Saints James and Andrew,
Everything we are hearing from Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the more our local communities can suspend face-to-face gatherings, the more we can slow down the spread of COVID-19. There is serious danger that unchecked spread of the virus could overwhelm our nation's health care capacity. With the needs of the wider community in mind, and after consultation with the bishop, we have decided to suspend public worship for two weeks, and then re-evaluate.
Online Streamed Worship at 10 a.m.For the next two weeks we will offer our worship on Facebook Live. (You do not need to have a Facebook account to view this public live stream). We will start the live feed by 9:45 a.m. You can view the leaflet here or download it here. Our priests will lead the worship in person, along with a musician and our tech assistant. We ask all others to stay at home and watch from home. During the communion liturgy we invite you to have a small piece of bread and/or wine. If we are worshiping together, even as our bodies are apart, God will still become really and truly present in the bread and wine we set apart in our own homes to consume during communion.
Virtual Coffee Hour at 10:45 a.m.Following Facebook Live Worship, we will gather on Zoom for a virtual coffee hour. If you have never used Zoom before, please watch this video showing how to use it.
Join our virtual coffee hour by https://zoom.us/j/958258853
Meeting ID: 958-258-853
Dial in by Phone: +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
We know we are asking our community to stretch beyond our comfort zone. Yet we feel this is how we can care for the most vulnerable within our community, while supporting the dedicated medical professionals and scientists responding to COVID-19.
Let us pray.
A Prayer for Those Affected by the Coronavirus
O God of compassion, giver of life and health, we pray your healing mercies upon all who are in any way affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Comfort and sustain those who have been stricken; relieve their pain, and restore to them your gifts of gladness and strength. Grant to all in authority the courage to make wise decisions that are essential for the common good, and strengthen them to lead institutions that care for those whom they serve. Watch over all first responders and those in the medical professions whose duty it is to care for the sick; guard them from all danger, and keep them safe in the knowledge that is through their sacrifice and service that the health of the whole community is promoted. Mercifully accept these our prayers, O God of all comfort, and our only help in time of need. Amen.
(H/T Episcopal Diocese of Maryland)
Rev. Heather & Rev. Molly
A reminder of other Modifications at SsJA related to COVID-19
All in-person ministry team meetings will become virtual and/or phone meetings. If your ministry team needs help setting up a Zoom Video/ Phone meeting, please contact Rev. Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org
All special or monthly events will be cancelled or rescheduled. This includes our monthly labyrinth walk on March 22, the Quiet Day on March 28, and the Middle Something Potluck on March 29. Please note the Quiet Day and Potluck will be rescheduled at a later date and time.
Mission & Outreach
Second Helpings and Whitney’s Pantry will offer their services to-go. Our local board of health understands the importance of offering these essential services to our community. They suggested offering these services to go would be the best way to proceed.
We will suspend making in-home visits, except to those on hospice care. We will transition to pastoral phone calls. We encourage everyone to routinely check-in on one another by phone or email so we can remain connected.
We are notifying property use clients of these outlined changes and that we cannot provide extra cleaning during this time. It is up to individual clients whether they would like to continue meeting.