For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
Strange and unfamiliar as this season is, there are still some things that are very familiar, such as meetings. I have attended several Diocesan meetings and various other organizational meetings via ZOOM, concerned with our regathering and Holy Communion. Needless to say, our circumstances have not changed in the past thirty days.
We are permitted limited outdoor worship gatherings and no in-building worship. We may conduct small in-person meetings within reason, and outside organizations may use our facilities within certain guidelines. We are not allowed to sing when gathered, except for one soloist, and there shall be not Communion.
I have entered into discussion concerning the theological rationale for prohibiting or allowing Eucharist with very little satisfaction. The Diocese has a task force reviewing our current situation that is charged with making recommendations for what comes next. Whatever the recommendation of the task force, I am prayerful that the theological reasoning will be a solid reflection of our Sacramental beliefs. We are all hungry for spiritual food!
I have submitted a formal request to the Bishop to gather outside at Creator for worship as well as request for the Stew Sale. Our portico will work wonderfully to accommodate our congregation as the cooler weather comes and provides a safer alternative to indoor gatherings. Perhaps you have been attending outdoor activities for a while now and feeling reasonably comfortable you are adhering to best practices. After a discussion with the Diocesan representative for regathering, I am waiting for an updated “parish assessment” form to pre-request worship in our Church building. I am hopeful that I will receive that update this week.
In addition to these meetings and filings, I am busy ordering cleaning supplies, drafting guidelines for parish use and COVID cleaning protocols, and ZOOM dashboard instructions. Combine these important and necessary duties with church plant care, grounds maintenance, service planning, Spiritual Direction, Yard Sale items organization, marriage counseling, and office work, and this season doesn’t look very strange at all. The biggest missing piece is … you. Please keep up the prayers for our re-gathering in His name.
Peace in Christ,
Father Bill Burk†