Sunday, we mark the Feast of Pentecost. Many people describe this feast as the “Birthday of the Church,” the day that the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples. The story of the church is the story about how the Holy Spirit moved throughout the world following that day. And it is a story that continues to unfold today as Holy Spirit moves with us right now.
I am deeply amazed for all the ways I see the Holy Spirit moving with us right now in this time that we can not gather in person. Even now, without gathering in person, we are the church.The Church is the people of God, moved and empowered by the Spirit to serve the world and share the love of God we know through Jesus. Thank you for your faithfulness during this time.
It is anticipated that the Governor will be moving our region into the Green Phase in coming days. Previously, we announced that we would not be worshiping in person in “Yellow” (See article here). Our Vestry has appointed a Reopening Committee (Ginny Barnicoat, Geoff Hurd, Frank Horrigan, Leigh Coogan, Laura DiPanfilo, Ell Vines and Noah Evans) to develop a plan, in consultation with the Bishop and the Diocesan Emergency Management Committee, when the time is right, to resume some forms of in-person worship and programs after we enter the Green Phase. As I have shared in the past, worship will feel quite different (See article here). In the days to come, we will be sending out an all parish survey to gauge interest and comfort as we develop this plan. We do anticipate continuing livestreaming services for the foreseeable future, and for Zoom to continue to be how most people connect with education and formation programs, along with parish meetings.We know that all of these are not ideal.At this time, these practices are necessary to keep our congregation and the wider community safe and healthy. The Holy Spirit is amazing, and will continue to work with and through us, even with these limitations in place.
Updates on Parish Staff
I am saddened to announce our Head Sexton, Bill Higgins, after several years of service has decided to pursue his Real Estate career full-time. His last day at St. Paul’s will be Friday, June 12th.We will have a goodbye and thank you celebration for him on Zoom on Wednesday, June 10 at 4PM. Personally, I will miss his hard work and joyful and friendly attitude and wish him well in his new endeavors. He will be back for a few days later in the summer to help train his replacement.
We are blessed that Deacon Jean Chess, who is a Mt. Lebanon resident, is helping our parish right now as we launch our no-contact Eucharistic Visitor program. Jean is working with Laura on training and supporting our visitors. She previously served as the Deacon at St. Andrew’s Highland Park for many years and serves on the Old Saint Luke’s Board. Join me in welcoming Jean and thanking her for serving with us at this time.
We have also welcomed back Matt Vines as our summer Sexton this summer. Matt will be a Sophomore in college next year. He served as a summer Sexton last summer as well.
As many of you know, Ariel Wicker, our Parish Administrator is pregnant and due in early July. We anticipate she will be on maternity leave for July through September. We will be hiring someone part time to help cover her duties, along with existing staff.
As we move out of a period that required frequent communication, we will be reducing our parish email schedule to three a week – 1.) Sunday, with the information for worship that day, 2.) Monday, with information for just the coming week and 3.) Friday with all the upcoming announcements and events. We have also made the decision to suspend that monthly Messenger publication after the June edition. All the material previously in that publication will be part of the regular parish emails.There will be a pastoral monthly mailing to the approximately 30 households without email.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions. I am deeply grateful for your flexibility and faithfulness during this strange and changing time.
The Reverend Noah H. Evans, Rector