Dear Friends in Christ,
Gathering for worship Sunday after Sunday is the most important thing we do together as a church. It is in our DNA. It forms our faith and shapes our identity. Only under extenuating circumstances we ever suspend in-person worship for any period.
Friends, currently we are in such a time. Responding to rising cases of COVID-19 in our county and our city’s restrictions on public gatherings, our diocese has made the determination that we do not gather for in-person worship from November 22 through December 13. Diocese will let us know whether this suspension will continue to match with the duration of the city’s restrictions.
Earlier in the year, when we experienced a similar lockdown, we were less prepared to have an online worship experience. But now, we have the technology and the expertise to provide our members with seamless online worship opportunities. Thanks to Jaime Konowal, who will give us the Zoom link to help us access online worship. This is how we currently participate in the Evensong services on Tuesdays. Besides, now we can also live to stream Sunday Zoom to Facebook. This makes it easier for folks who are currently participating in Sunday services on Facebook. Friends, this is an opportunity for us to bring more people into our worshipping community. I would encourage you to let your family and friends know about this weekly worship opportunity as a community.
Though this is a virtual experience, I would urge you all to make this as real as possible. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well, “But the hour is coming, and is now here when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Treat the place you sit for Sunday morning worship on line as a sacred place. Light a candle, have an icon next to it, and gather around it intentionally and reverently, and make this place a liminal space where you will encounter God.
Here is a quote from L. R. Knost, which I found very helpful during times like these. “Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So, go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.”
Look forward to experiencing the joy of our worship of God on Sunday at 10 AM with each of you.