COVID-19 and Worshiping from home

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

Worshiping From Home

The Coronavirus continues to spread and its reach is getting closer to home. To stop the spread is not in our control but we can attempt to slow the spread. At this time each of us must do our part to reduce the risk to the people of our community; ensuring that we reduce the impact on our hospitals and clinics. Today I have been informed that “The virus is contagious up to 5 days before clinical symptoms appear.” This means that we can spread this disease long before we know we are ill. This attribute is not unique to covid-19. Viruses such as Measles and Chicken Pox can also be transmitted prior to symptoms.

We, the people, are the Church. We can worship and pray when we are together in community and we can worship and pray together even when we are not in the same physical location. As such, and with prayer and advice from the Bishop, Christ Church will worship in a dispersed form for the next two Sundays (subject to change). “This is not about the food, not about the bread and wine, and not about the pews and plates. This virus is spread from human crowds and gatherings;” from a statement by Dr. Peter Pisters, president of MD Anderson Cancer Center and Dr. David Callender, president of Memorial Hermann. This is a drastic step and one that was not made lightly.

For the next two weeks, at 10:00 a.m., I will attempt to “live stream” our service on our Facebook page. Or cut & paste this into your browser. If I am not able to get this set up and working the Cathedral will be offering online worship (11 a.m. & 1 p.m.)

I understand this may be uncomfortable. It is irregular. And for our parish this is new. But is it Christian and it will require our best efforts. If we look at our Gospel for this Sunday, we have the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. In her conversation with Jesus, we find that the Samaritans believe that God is most present on this mountain, Mount Gerizim, and the Jews believe God is most present in the Temple in Jerusalem, on Mount Zion. Jesus replies, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. . . .But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.” Clearly, we can worship wherever we are at. We can pray together and apart and Christ is always in our midst.

In summary and for the next two weeks:

  • We will meet virtually for worship instead of in person at least for the next two weeks.

  • Head Acolyte, Reader/Chalice Bearer will still be needed. No torches

  • No Coffee hour No Potluck

  • Our Wednesday prayer study, being very small, will continue

  • Pastoral care will still be available- Call me as needed

I times like these I am always comforted and reminded that God and his love is never apart from his people.

Surely, it is God who saves me; I will trust in him and not be afraid. For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, and he will be my Savior. Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation. And on that day you shall say, Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name; Make his deeds known among the peoples; see that they remember that his Name is exalted Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, and this is known in all the world. Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with thoughts, concerns, and hopes. I am keeping each of you and our community in prayer.

Lenten blessings to you. Fr. Steve

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