By the Rev. Noah H. Evans, Rector
I am deeply grateful for all the ways that you all continue to lean into remaining connected, and as one community during this time of social distancing. In the last week, I have seen many of our Sunday School classes meeting on Zoom, almost 100 people gathering for parish bingo online, and members of our community fanning out to deliver amazing Clam Chowder as part of an outreach fundraiser. Musicians and readers joined for collaborative worship on Zoom and Facebook and Claudia Circle met via Zoom and checked in and even began to plan their next rummage sale. Our Vestry’s COVID19 Response fund has now raised more than $30,000 to help St. Paul’s respond to this crisis. All this, along with what we have already been doing to connect as a community and serve the needs of the world. Frankly, I am in awe of how you all continue to pull together in new ways to be one community in Christ, serving the world.Thank you!
As the governor moves our region from “red” to “yellow” later this week, many of us are wondering how this first step in loosening restrictions will affect us, our lives, and our church. Governor Wolf reminds us that “yellow,” means caution. It means that the pandemic is not over; instead, that our community has greater capacity to handle the public health and medical needs related to this virus.As we have reviewed the Governor’s reopening plan, along with the best thinking from our Diocese and the Public Health community, we have decided that St. Paul’s will not open for regular Sunday worship while we are in “yellow.” The Vestry and I have appointed a committee who, in coordination with the Diocese, will develop a reopening plan so that we can open for regular public worship sometime after our region is moved to “green.”
The “yellow” phase does mean we will be able to expand our ministry in some way. We may be able to add some more folks, readers and musician, in the church to assist with streaming worship.It also means we can begin our no-contact Lay Eucharistic Visitor program to help expand the reach of the sacramental life of the church at this time. We may also be able to have our Pig Roast in early June as a “drive by and pick-up” event.
We are doing all of this, in order to continue to care for public health, and also follow our Christian call to protect the most vulnerable among us.We are connecting in wonderful and creative ways. The Holy Spirit that draws us together continues to move within and among us.
The Reverend Noah H. Evans, Rector