Dear Beloved of God,
Yesterday I announced some temporary but drastic changes affecting the life of our parish during this pandemic. Today we must go a step farther. It is now clear that it necessary for the greater good that we practice social distancing immediately. This comes at the urging of many of our own members who are doctors and medical experts, as well as with the general consensus of our leadership. Therefore, after the celebration of the Eucharist today at noon, our building will close for all public gatherings and worship. Except for staff presence, the building will remain closed at least through the end of March. Bob Beer’s visitation and funeral is postponed and will be announced at a later date.
This does not mean that the Church’s work is paused. On the contrary, our ministry must intensify. Our staff and leadership will be coordinating resources for worshipping and tending to our faith from home. We will also be organizing multiple ways in which we will be helping the elderly, the sick, and all those in need. Meetings will go on by internet as announced. Worship will be offered virtually as well. Your prayers, as well as your time, talents, and treasure are needed more than ever.
It is the instinct of the Christ’s flock to keep close together in body as well as in spirit. How good it is to be in the house of the Lord! But sometimes, every once in a great while, the danger is such that the flock must disperse in body for the good of the whole herd. Yet because we live not to ourselves but in Christ, we are never truly apart in spirit.
We have been rehearsing for a moment such as this throughout our whole lives as baptized children of God. Today, we are called to act with one mind and one heart toward the greater good. This must be our generation’s finest hour. Be not afraid. The Lord has prepared us already for this moment. In the words of St. Paul:
“Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)
With you in Christ,
The Rev. Brian A. Evans