Dear Companions on the Journey,
An update to the Journey Forward Guidelines [PDF] was shared with clergy and wardens on Friday, March 26, 2021. This document was created in response to requests from some of our churches to meet despite the current Red/Very High Risk designation of every county in our diocese. While am unable to recommend this course of action due to the daily increase in new cases and infection rate in the month of March, the update includes suggestions for those who decide to move forward with in-person worship at this time.
While I know that all sorts of groups, including some faith traditions, are meeting, it is impossible to know how many exposures or transmissions of COVID-19 have happened at those institutions. That information is not routinely reported or publicly shared.
The steps outlined for those intending to gather in-person will take time to complete. Your clergy will need time to confer with their family. Additionally, the Wardens and Vestry have been asked to join the clergy in preparatory work that will need time to be completed if a congregation will gather in this current risk category of Red/Very High Risk.
Important to note: Episcopal Visits and Diocesan Meetings remain online in this time of Very High Risk. If I am scheduled for a visit at your parish this program year, it will be at the main worship time and online. Please be prepared for that change if you go ahead with in-person gathering. Additionally, Diocesan Offices will remain closed with the Bishop’s Staff continuing to work from home.
We should be able to see more rapid improvement as vaccine becomes widely available within the new two months. Until then, God continues to watch over our going out and coming in, from this time and forevermore.
Grace and peace,