I like to think of this pandemic journey like the stages the Hebrew people moved in as they wandered through the desert of Sinai. Each stage is a different leg of the journey.
St. Paul’s will begin two new legs of the journey in the weeks to come.
First, Palm Sunday Holy Week and Easter – during this time we will have a mix of in-person and virtual activities. You can find the entire schedule here.
Second, Sunday April 11 lasting until Memorial Day weekend. During this leg we resume in person worship with services in the sanctuary at 8AM (no music) and 9:15AM (a little instrumental music). As with our services in the summer and fall, these services will require pre-registration and have limited capacity. Masking and distancing protocols will all be in place. We will continue our Livestreaming worship at 10:45AM, with full music. We will be able to have one or two families a week in this service for Baptisms or Early Communion.
We will also offer a “bring your own chair” service at 4PM at a pavilion Mt. Lebanon Main Park. Masking and distancing protocols will be in place, and there will be no need to preregister (but you will need to sign-in).This simple service will be sandwiched between Children’s Sunday School activities at 3PM and Confirmation/EYC at 5PM, both in Mt. Lebanon Main Park. We have reserved a pavilion in main park each Sunday during this time for these activities.
As participants feel comfortable, handbells and outdoor choir practices will also resume in the weeks to come. There also may be other small in person gatherings in our outside spaces, like the St. Margaret’s Garden tent.
As we approach Memorial Day, we will make new decisions about what worship will look like through the summer. As for other activities this summer, Vacation Bible School is now being planned for late June, in a somewhat different format than years past. You can find the announcement here. Also, this summer our Youth again will join in Pittsburgh Service Week in July. And, if conditions allow, possibly make a short trip to West Virginia in the later summer.
As we increase our in person gatherings, we also need to increase our group of Safety First Greeters, who can help welcome people to services and assist in following our COVID 19 safety protocols. It is a great ministry of helping to welcome people to worship, and keep everyone safe. Please contact Andrea is you are interested in joining this ministry.
With all of these ministry transitions and happenings, please watch the weekly emails and website for details as they emerge.
Throughout this pandemic year, I have been continually reminded of how God’s people are resilient, and God’s activity never ceases. I am so grateful for all the ways we as a community have continued to live out that we are One Body in Christ, even when we are separated in person. Thank you.
The Reverend Noah H. Evans, Rector