As you are aware, the situation surrounding the COVID0-19 virus is very fluid and our responses to all that we face is changing almost daily at this point. Attached, you will find the Pastoral Directive issued by the three Episcopal Michigan Bishops. The decisions that this directive contains were not entered into lightly and are necessary as all of us do our part to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus. They reflect the most recent updates and recommendations from the CDC.
In order to keep us all connected in as many ways as possible, I will continue to call us together for Morning Prayer at 8:00 a.m. every day through Facebook Live (St. Jude’s Facebook link). You do not need to be a member of Facebook to participate in these gatherings. You also are not limited to participating when the liturgy is “live.” Once it is completed, it is available on both St. Jude’s Facebook page and my own page.
Our call-out list is now complete and the volunteers have been given the names and telephone numbers of all of those they will be contacting weekly. I will also be calling everyone, although realistically I won’t be able to reach all of you weekly. I will call as often as I am able. If you have a need in between calls or would like to speak to me directly, please feel free to call my cell phone at 810-300-9177. If the line goes to voicemail, please feel free to leave a message and I will get back with you as quickly as I am able.
This new directive applies not just to our own gatherings as the St. Jude’s congregation. These also apply to all groups using our building. I will be contacting the facilitators of all of our groups and letting them know about these changes and helping them to find online options for meeting.
Many of you will have questions about our food distribution. More information will be available in the coming days with regards to how that will take place. As the directive says, we will be limited to curb-side delivery and Dave Rayner along with others and I are talking about the best and easiest way to make that happen while adhering to this directive.
We are all experiencing a stressful time of the unknown as we face and fight this virus. I believe that our response, contained within the Bishop’s Pastoral Directive, is a faithful and hopeful response. It is one that seeks to work together as we all protect the most vulnerable and as we flatten the curve. This is hard. No doubt about it. We, as church, are people who gather. And gather we will! In Spirit, on the phone, on the internet, through the mail with cards and notes. We are connected through the Waters of Baptism and nothing can break those bonds. Not even the necessary steps that we have taken to break the cycle of the virus.
“I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38 – 39
This prayer comes from Blogger Careon Bellm:
Prayer for a Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country,
Let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
Blessings and love,