Non-worship activities suspended
My brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today, Bishop Ed sent a personal directive to all parishes in the Diocese of Oklahoma instructing us to cancel all non-worship events until further notice. In this time of uncertainty it is hard to know how to strike the “balance” between overreacting and turning a blind eye to the potential impact of COVID-19 on our community. There are some dioceses in the Episcopal Church that are closing until this pandemic has past. Given our context in Oklahoma where at the present time we have a small number of confirmed cases perhaps that is not the best course.
While no one at Saint John’s Church has been diagnosed with COVID-19, Episcopalians in general are aging, which means that many of us are most vulnerable to the danger that the Coronavirus presents.
Therefore, we are canceling all non-worship events at Saint John’s Church for the foreseeable future. This includes but is not limited to all Sunday School classes for all ages, the Wednesday night Walk in Love series, all meetings to include Daughters of the King, St. Barbara’s Guild, and The Brotherhood of St. Andrew on Tuesday night and Saturday morning.
Our Music at Midday program is cancelled until further notice. As well, the March 22nd performance of the St. John Passion is cancelled. Additionally all bible studies led by Beth Duncan are cancelled, as is the our Great Decisions series.
We are also canceling in person Finance Committee meetings, and monthly vestry meetings, although we are working on ways for those meetings to happen through technology.
While we will continue to worship in community for the time being, we will begin “live streaming” the 11:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist on our Facebook page. If you choose to stay home please join us at 11:15 a.m. virtually.
Beginning this Sunday, March 15th:
- Communion will be offered in one kind only. The priest celebrating Eucharist will take the wine and all others will receive the wafer only. Remember, that if you receive the bread you have received the fullness of the Eucharist.
- The offering plates will not be passed from person to person. Instead they will be available on visible tables at the entrances to the nave and at the front crossing. You may place your offering in the plate upon arrival or on your way up for communion or at the end of the service.
- Coffee hour is canceled until further notice to discourage social gatherings and the potential for the contamination through food and drink.
Please check back with our webpage and through our social media for continued updates. This is a rapidly unfolding circumstance and we can expect additional changes. We encourage you to take all prudent care to protect yourself and those you love from COVID-19. And remember, at the heart of who we are as followers of Jesus Christ we are to care for one another. So please, check in on your friends and your neighbors and members of our parish just to make sure everyone is doing well. And if there is some way for you to help jump in, step out in faith. If you are frightened or confused as to how you should respond remember the power prayer. Prayer is powerful and so needed. Please join me in prayer:
Let us pray: Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, you are our divine healer. You traveled through cities and the country side healing and curing every disease of body, mind and spirit. Through your power and at your command the sick were made well, the broken were made whole. Come to our aid now, in the midst of this global spread of the Coronavirus, that all of us may receive your healing love. Amen!
Friends, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me or a member of the staff or members of the vestry as we move forward. Be safe, be well, and God bless us all.