A Note from the Rector – 09/05/2021

Our dedicated vestry met last Monday evening. Because of the high rates of transmission of COVID-19 in our community, and at the strong recommendation of our bishop, the vestry has decided to make mask wearing a requirement for indoor services at this time. There are two important additional aspects of the vestry’s decision: First, this decision will be reevaluated every two weeks. There is cause for cautious optimism about the eventual decline of new infections caused by the Delta virus, and the vestry is committed to making decisions based on facts as they emerge. Second, masking for outdoor services will be optional. There is little evidence of the spread of the virus in outdoor settings, especially if reasonable social distancing is maintained.  That leads to another announcement:
 
Starting September 19th and continuing to the beginning of November (at least), we will offer a family oriented, outdoor service of Holy Eucharist at 9AM. This service will include a brief object lesson sermon and will be approximately 25 minutes in length. The service will be followed by coffee and donuts. All are welcome to attend this service (not just families!). It is my hope that many will attend the 9AM service who have been hesitant or unable to join us at 10AM, or who will be hesitant now that there is a mask requirement in place. I hope that 9AM attenders will stick around on the church lawn for a few minutes after the service, and I hope that 10AM attenders will come a few minutes early to service, to grab a donut and some coffee yes, but also so that folks who haven’t seen each other in person in a while can connect or reconnect safely.
 
I know we are all frustrated and exhausted by this pandemic. I also know that masks are a political hot-button issue in the wider society right now. However, they are not a hot-button issue inside the Body of Christ. We Christians do not have to play by the rules of the stupid game our society is playing with all its recrimination, division, pride, and willful ignorance. We don’t have to follow the scripts laid out for us by our erstwhile political commitments or media consumptions. All these things are passing away, but one thing remains—we belong to Jesus. We belong to Jesus and that means we possess a freedom that transcends any so-called freedoms that any government could possibly give or take away. True freedom is the power we have to love. Exercise your true freedom! We have true freedom because we belong to Jesus. We don’t belong to the powers and principalities whose reign of disorder we see at work in our world. We don’t belong to any politician, influencer, or media personality. We don’t belong to any message or ideology that would try to enslave us in patterns of hatred, suspicion, and despair. We belong to Jesus, so our primary ethical concerns are to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. So, come to church because you love God. Wear a mask indoors at church because you love your neighbor. Have a great Labor Day weekend and see you soon!     

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