May 19, 2020
It is encouraging that Governor Baker released yesterday the four-phase plan for re-opening our state. However, although the Governor has said that churches can re-open, our Bishop has mandated that all Episcopal churches must remain in our current mode of virtual worship and online activities at least through the end of June. We will not have in-person worship or re-open our building until July at the very earliest, and possibly later. We will continue to have online worship at 9:30 AM each Sunday on our website and Facebook page.
The Bishop yesterday also released a set of guidelines for resuming in-person church activities that mirrors the Governor’s four phases, called A Journey by Stages. You can find the Bishop’s announcement and that document here: https://www.diomass.org/news/diocesan-news/ma-episcopal-churches-prepare-regather-not-july-1
Your vestry is meeting this Wednesday to discuss the guidelines in detail and how we will implement them. This is a big task that will take us many weeks to think about. The safety and health of parish members, especially our elders and those with vulnerable health, is of utmost importance to all of us. As our political and health leaders have told us, it will not be a linear process and there may be steps backward as well as forwards along the way.
I’m so grateful for all the many ways you have cared for each other throughout this crisis, from phone trees to virtual hugs to Zoom coffee dates and coffee hours. Keep it up!
And please know your clergy are always here for you and love to talk with you on the phone or meet on Zoom. Reach out anytime if you just want to connect for any reason.
We welcome your input as we move forward. Please share your ideas, concerns, and insights about our next steps.