As you know, things have moved quickly over the past several days regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. The vestry and I met this past Saturday to make some decisions about our life together as a family in Christ. No matter the decisions we have made, we want you to know that we believe YOU are the best decision maker for yourself and your family and we stand by you however you decide to respond to this situation. Last Thursday, Roy Cooper, the governor of North Carolina, asked that gatherings over 100 people be canceled or mitigated in some way to reduce any exposure risk. Late this past Saturday, he ordered that any event of 100+ people be canceled. We rarely have any events here that reach that threshold but there is one notable exception—our Fish Frys. Fish FryOur Lenten Fish Fry is scheduled for this coming Friday, March 20. Knowing we cannot gather together as we usually do, the vestry made the decision that our Fish Fry will be a “Take-out Only” event so that we do not have people gathered together “elbow to elbow,” as these events always are. Please let everyone to whom you gave or sold tickets know about this change. Following the current CDC guidelines, we will also ensure that only a small group of people are in the building at the same time as they pick up their meals. Meals & Classes CanceledThe vestry has decided that all meals (Sunday lunch & Wednesday dinners), and also all Christian education classes, have been canceled through the remainder of the Lenten season. We hope to be able to return to normalcy once Easter Day arrives on April 12th. At present, we plan on our usual Easter Dinner and Easter Egg Hunt to be held as always. Of course, we will be monitoring events over the next 4 weeks to see where we stand at that time. Worship ScheduleOur current worship schedule will continue as usual. If you have made the decision that you are going to isolate yourself during this time and not come to church, please let us know by giving us a call or shooting us an email. Also, the church office will be open as usual. If the Virus Affects UsIn the future, should you receive a positive medical diagnosis for COVID-19 or have a confirmed exposure to someone else with a positive diagnosis, please let us know immediately. The vestry has established an Action Committee that will respond to whatever needs you may have once you have been quarantined under those circumstances. We will also let you know if any fellow parishioners find themselves under those circumstances. Sacramental & Spiritual NeedsIf you have need for Holy Communion, Anointing of the Sick, or any other sacramental and spiritual needs, both me and Deacon Louis are available throughout this period of time. We, as clergy, by the vows we have undertaken, cannot, and will not, distance ourselves from you. Keeping Up-to-datePlease keep track of your emails from us. There is always a wealth of information in those emails. Also, visit this website regularly. All the information in the emails, along with quite a bit of other information, is up here on our website. You can sign up for our emails by clicking here. Moving ForwardAll of these decisions will be reviewed and revisited as the weeks progress, as we monitor what is happening around us and any information released by our federal, state, and local governments. Please PrayAs Christians we have a bounden duty to pray for one another and for the circumstances we find ourselves in. Our Prayer Book has a prayer that fits the present circumstance very well and is found on page 45. It is titled In Time of Great Sickness and Mortality:
- O MOST mighty and merciful God, in this time of grievous sickness, we flee unto thee for succour. Deliver us, we beseech thee, from our peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the sick; prosper the means made use of for their cure; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we may apply our hearts unto that heavenly wisdom which leadeth to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I encourage you to pray this prayer at least once a day as we truly lay all of this before Our Father in heaven. If you have any questions, or need anything at all, please give me call. Blessings,Fr. Erich
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