Bishops Extend Virtual Worship Time Frame to July 1

Although it is disappointing news, we have to follow the wise guidance of our Bishops and their health care consultants in extending virtual worship through July 1. Redeemer will continue to have no 8:00 AM service and online worship on Facebook Live and our webpage at 9:30 AM every Sunday, followed by Virtual Coffee Hour on Zoom.

Your vestry is working hard to plan carefully for a phased resumption of our normal activities and we hope to receive the Bishop’s detailed guidelines about that next week. 

Here is the Bishop’s message:

Dear People of the Diocese of Massachusetts,

As the Commonwealth continues to face high numbers of COVID-19 fatalities and of new cases reported, it remains vitally important for us to care for our neighbors and ourselves by maintaining strict levels of physical distancing.  While we regret this ongoing necessity, we know it is the safe and loving course of action.  

Current restrictions on in-person public worship and gatherings in our churches are now extended until July 1, 2020.

Essential office and maintenance functions and life-sustaining neighborhood ministries may continue, provided these are carried out while maintaining recommended physical distancing and cleaning and hygiene protocols, and respecting the maximum number of people allowable under the orders of Governor Baker.

This extension of the timeframe for virtual worship is coordinated with that of Bishop Douglas Fisher of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, with whom we are preparing guidelines for the resumption of church activities in stages that will be determined by public health indicators.  We anticipate that these joint guidelines will be available next week.  Please be mindful that preparations for phased resumption of services and activities will take careful preparation and planning at every level of leadership in our dioceses and congregations.

We are profoundly grateful for the dedication and creativity with which congregations are responding to provide alternative, virtual opportunities for worship and fellowship, as well as continued ministry to the most vulnerable in our communities.  

Last Friday the church calendar commemorated Julian of Norwich, who is perhaps most widely remembered for the assurance given the mystic by Jesus:  “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”  May we, too, know the assurance of Christ’s nurturing and sustaining love, spoken to us in our troubled time.

Faithfully, in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris