Planning for the Fall
I hope that you've been able to get outside this week to enjoy the beauty of God's good creation. This summer we've been truly blessed by weather that has allowed us to safely worship outside for 8 of the 9 past Sundays. The Vestry, the re-opening team and I have agreed that given the abundant gift of our Meadow and the seasonable weather, we will continue outside until at least the middle of October. We believe that this decision supports the effort to keep each other safe modeling "loving our neighbors as ourselves". This decision is consistent with the Bishops' recommendations that worship be held outside when possible. Ann Post and Jean Marie, Ann's wife, have done a terrific job of recording our outdoor services for those who are not with us in person. We know there have been some technical glitches, which we are working through so we appreciate your patience.
Please remember that our weekly zoom evening prayer continues on Thursday evening and that morning meditations, led by Reverend Eric, are offered Wednesday morning under the tent. It is wonderful that many of you are participating in these gatherings as the faithful, living Body of Christ.
Recognizing the desire for private prayer in the sanctuary, beginning the week of September 8th we will be opening the church to individuals for several hours a week. Appointments will be required. Only one person or couple will be allowed at a time. All safety protocols will be followed. More details will follow. Please do consider the beauty of the Memorial Garden and the courtyard as space for prayers and reflection.
The staff and I have been planning the Fall adult and children formation programs and worship services. We will be offering some of our traditional services such as the Blessing of the Animals in October and our newly introduced Michaelmas service in September. Sunday school will be held outside in a tent, as will the Middle School group meetings. We will also have on-line offerings. In the weeks ahead, we will send out more information.
Our Gospel message this week is from Matthew 16:17, as Jesus says to Peter: "I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church." As Bishop Laura noted in a zoom call this week, our church was founded not as a structure or an institution, but in relationships. It is our relationships with God and each other that will sustain and nourish us with hope in these days of uncertainty.
May God be with you,