Dear St. Peter’s Friends and families,
The situation with the COVID-19 virus has changed literally in the past 12 hours. Directives have come from the national, state and local community leaders declaring a state of emergency.
Given we have a scheduled dinner tonight and services planned for Sunday, your vestry leaders and I have had to make some important decisions that were made past 10pm just last night. This email gives you the update of our decisions.
- Polish Dinner: Drive thru carry-out only
Remember when you used to go to A&W or Sonic Drive-in restaurants where the waitresses came to your car often on roller skates? That’s what we’re planning to do tonight at the St. Peter’s Polish dinner. Folks will arrive stay in their cars and will be waited on and leave with their meals.
However, we will most likely forgo the skates.
We know this will disappoint some, but it allows everyone to come safely without contact or near proximity to other guests or workers.
- Worship Services Cancelled
We have received directives from our bishop to consider cancellation of services in light of the recent declarations, but the decision has been ours. Your vestry has voted to suspend worship until a date yet uncertain. We will keep everyone posted when we resume.
- Meetings and events cancelled at St. Peter’s.
For the foreseeable future we will cancel all meetings at St. Peter’s Church.
- Worship resources:
On St. Peter’s website you can find a full audio list of recorded sermons for each Sunday.
I am working with Rob Mangiafico our technology guru to possibly upload full services with sermons each week during this time.
These you will find at the following link and listen anytime is convenient to you. .St. Peter’s Sunday Sermons
- Live streaming Services at the National Cathedral.
If you would like the experience of live worship at one of the great cathedrals of the world, the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul (the National Cathedral) in Washington, DC., they host live streaming services at 11:00a.m. on Sunday mornings.
The preacher this week is our Presiding Bishop, The Right Reverend Michael Curry who is one himself one of the greatest preachers of our day.
To join that service tomorrow you can go to the following YouTube link: March 15, 2020: 11am Sunday Worship Service at Washington National Cathedral. Or, you can visit cathedral.org online.
- Future worship at St. Peter’s:
As mentioned above we are considering doing an audio version of the Eucharist for your convenience.
Each week we are closed I will alternate between RITE I and RITE II Eucharist. In order to follow along with the service below is a link to the online Book of Common Prayer. Or, if you have a prayer book already at home you can follow along. We will lend prayer-books from church if you so choose at this time. Since we will be at church today, you can borrow a copy from the church. Think of it as a lending library.
- Ongoing support beyond worship
Just because we are closed does not mean that you will not have access to my support or that of our larger community.
I will formally be available Tuesdays through Fridays between the hours of 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m. for anything you may need.
Naturally, if there is a pastoral emergency you can contact me at any time.
In closing I offer this prayer in a time of a pandemic for you to pray.
Prayer for a Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remembers those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health and 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 who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of our 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 find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.