June 6th: Next Steps
June 6, 2020From the Rector
As shelter-in-place orders begin to relax some, both on the state level and here in our county, there are understandably many questions about what this will mean for us at Resurrection! The simplest - and probably not very satisfactory - answer is that we are working on it. In a recent Zoom call with clergy and wardens from all across the diocese, Bishop Marc shared his desire for us to begin gathering together again, certainly, but only when we can really do so safely. A diocesan team is hard at work creating guidelines and resources to support us in this work, and while I hope it won't be too far off, we will not be phasing back in-person gatherings right when the county first permits them on June 15th.
Bishop Marc has said that the earliest he can imagine in-person worship happening - without making any guarantees - is June 28th, but that the most important thing is that we do this carefully and safely, for all involved. He also emphasized that we'll be moving in this direction as a body, though he has revised his plan slightly to say that we'll be opening deanery by deanery, rather than as an entire diocese at once. In this way, we'll be able to lean on our sister congregations for support, share resources, and collaborate, as together we navigate these new questions and challenges.
What does this mean for us? Well, we are once again hard at work with a new set of goals and parameters, many of which are still unknown. At this point, it looks likely that when we first resume in-person worship, it will probably need to be outside, possibly on the labyrinth. We'll most likely be looking at wearing masks, using lots of sanitizer, and still maintaining at least six feet of distance between households. I also want to emphasize my awareness that for many people, it will not feel safe or make sense to resume in-person gatherings any time soon. For this reason, we are also exploring how we can continue live-streaming the service, even after some form of in-person gatherings begin to meet again. My commitment is that we make worship accessible for as many people as we possibly can, even with all these strange and shifting limitations.
To that end, we need help! As we build a team to envision the way forward, we are especially in need of folks with experience in public health and technology - particularly in setting up the new way to effectively live stream while also holding in-person worship. People who are wise and creative with space use will also be especially helpful, as we'll need to reimagine how we move through our campus, set up and break down chairs and shade structures, adequately sanitize everything, and so forth. If you have experience in any of these areas, or suggestions of folks who fit the bill, I would be most grateful to hear from you!
Over the last months since we first had to pivot to live-streaming our services, I've been reminded again and again of why I felt so compelled to join this community, and I trust that this next phase will be no different. I remain immensely grateful for the countless ways members of this community have stepped up, harnessed creativity, offered deeply of your time and love, and engaged one another (and me!) with such flexibility, grace, and patience. In one way, we're all flying with a blindfold on, making this up as we go along. And, at the same time, I think this is just the latest iteration of Resurrection being most fully itself: a community that sees a fresh challenge and a new call to love one another in different ways, with the everyone stepping up graciously and enthusiastically to do their part. It is so very affirming and encouraging to witness this response, again and again, from all of you. Thank you - and onward!
Food Drop for Monument Crisis Center
Sunday, June 14
As the pandemic continues and unemployment worsens for many, the Monument Crisis Center continues to see incredibly high levels of need for food. An average of more than 320 families are coming each day for emergency food; 10,358 individuals were served in April alone. To do our part to address this need, we will soon have barrels out in front of the church again (stay tuned!) and we will also be hosting a donation drop-off day on June 14. You can bring non-perishable food to the church between 12:00 and 2:00 pm that Sunday, June 14 - just drive up in front of the church, pop your trunk, and we'll take your groceries out. It will be safe, distanced, and without contact. Thank you!
April Vestry Meeting - by Zoom
Wednesday, June 10
Our Vestry (the elected leadership board of the church) meets every month, and the meetings are always open to the whole congregation. While we are sheltering in place, our vestry meetings are being held over Zoom. Church members are still welcome to attend and observe the meeting. This month it will be held Wednesday, June 10 at 7:00 pm.
Zoom Coffee Hour continues!
It has been a sweet joy to come together for a coffee hour on Zoom! Join us again this Sunday for this informal time to check in with one another, hear how everyone is doing, and just enjoy seeing each other's faces! We'll gather at 11:30 Sunday morning, so you'll have time to get a treat and pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee.
Compline by Zoom
All are invited to join in Compline on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Have your prayer book handy and open to p. 127. If you don't own a prayer book, here's a link: https://www.bcponline.org/
Hymn Sing Zoom Invitation!
Join our Hymn Sing this week at 7pm on Thursday evening. Come and sing with us - no hymnal or special skills needed. We will take requests during the meeting, or if you wish to submit one ahead of time, you can email Colleen Henry at email@example.com.
During this most difficult time of separation from your Community of Faith, you may be feeling spiritually empty. You may find yourself having trouble remembering the last time you truly prayed.
There is hope! Although we are unable to gather at the Healing Prayer Station in the Sanctuary, Church of the Resurrection's Prayer Team is available to pray with you and for you. Simply call the church office (925-685-2288) and ask that a member of the Prayer Team contact you to pray with you over the phone. Or, you could leave a message with a special prayer request. You can even send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and all will be forwarded to the Prayer Team.
Do you feel the need to refresh your personal prayer life? Here is some advice from The Rev. David Stout, Rector of St. James Episcopal Church, Hawaii:
"Make your prayer what those first disciples asked, 'Lord, teach me to pray'. That in itself is a prayer! Stay with that prayer. Jesus offered them a short prayer that today we call 'The Lord's Prayer'. Simply say The Lord's Prayer. One line at a time, slowly. Nothing more. In the spirit of that prayer, 'may God give us our daily bread' - that which we need to truly feed our hungry souls."