Dear Christ Church,
There are several noteworthy items to update you on today; please take a moment to scroll through to the bottom to catch it all!
Update on Gathering for Worship. You are probably aware that state policies now allow for “houses of worship” to hold modified, socially distanced gatherings, which in our case would only allow roughly 10% of our congregation to gather in a service. We feel a very sacred desire to gather together when we know it is healthy, legal, and wise, but we do not currently feel all those are discernable yet.
Before gathering for worship again, we will need to consider such factors as whether we can safely have Eucharist, what to do about children (who cannot adhere to social distancing), whether masks are required, the advisability and viability of disinfecting all seats and surfaces, and how to protect the most vulnerable. Even if all of the above were possible (and it’s not), to gather only 10% of our congregation per service does not substantially sway our discernment. We began social distancing with a sacrificial concern for the most vulnerable, and we will end it with the same concern, full of joy to all worship together again!
So, for the time being, we will keep the status quo in terms of worship practices, joining each other each Sunday in our live liturgy, accessed through our Cornonavirus Community Update Page. If you missed last week’s worship, you can catch the sermon here, or the whole live streamed service here. This Sunday our sermon will be from Bishop Todd Hunter, the shepherd of our diocesan flock, preaching on John’s text about Jesus as the Good Shepherd.
I will lead Midday Prayer on Tuesdays, beginning May 5th at 12:30 via zoom. I am looking forward to joining all of you who are able to pause in the middle of our week for a thirty minute devotional together. We will pray through a short liturgy and I will walk us through some brief readings and reflections on the book of Leviticus each week. If you’re able, jump on 10 or 15 minutes beforehand and I’ll be there to visit with the early birds!
Coronavirus and the Communion of Saints. Next Wednesday evening three Anglican parishes in Austin are co-hosting a conversation with Dr. Bruce Hindmarsh of Regent College, professor of church history and spiritual theology. The focus will be twofold, (1) in what ways throughout history have Christians responded to social crises and catastrophes, positively and negatively, and (2) what are the resources, convictions, and practices that sustain faithful and obedient response? See below for all the details!