As we enter this week into another new month, I am writing with an update about what I know about our "regathering" plans at this juncture - bearing in mind that, like everything else associated with this pandemic, the information that I am sharing here is very much subject to change!
I want to begin by extending a sincere "thank you" to those who have responded already to our Congregational Regathering Survey. Your input is essential as your Vestry and I think about how and when to begin to offer in-person worship again, and we are very grateful to have heard from you. If you have not yet had an opportunity to complete the survey, there's no time like the present! It only takes a couple of minutes, and you can choose whether to provide your name or to remain anonymous. Your responses are not binding, of course, but they will give us a helpful sense of how folks are feeling about the possibility of worshipping together in person again. The link to the Google survey form may be found here.
Our current plan is to continue worshipping via Zoom/Facebook Live throughout July - both to give us a chance to gather and interpret survey data, and to allow me to enjoy a bit of time off with my family. As we plan these online services, we need your help! We invite you to participate actively in worship as a Lector and and/or Prayer Leader. No previousexperience is necessary...anyone (of any age) who can read can volunteer! All you need is to be able to access Zoom app on your smartphone, tablet, or computer in order to take part in one or more of our services during July. Please click the big blue button below to sign up!
On the subject of time off: I will be on vacation from this Sunday, July 5 (after church!) through the following Sunday. On Sunday, July 12, St. Dunstan's will worship with our sister parish, the Church of the Redeemer, via Zoom at 5 p.m.; our Seminarian Intern, Robin Reed, will preach. More information (including Zoom login credentials) will be provided in the Daily Message as we get closer to that date. In the meantime, please mark your calendars now with the schedule change that week. I plan to take some other time off later in July, but as of right now I do not anticipate that it will impact Sunday worship. I also look forward to welcoming our friends from Redeemer to join us for worship in August as their Rector, the Rev. Cricket Park, enjoys some time away to meet her first grandchild!
And now, drumroll, please...
At this point we are hoping to be able to offer our first outdoor in-person service on Sunday, August 9 (weather and other variables permitting). I am very excited to try this, since this is a great use of the gift of our lovely grounds! More details will follow, but for now please hold that date and think about whether you might be able to help set up for that service. There will be many roles to fill in order to make worship happen that day. You can indicate your availability to help on the Congregational Regathering Survey, or by emailing me directly.
Finally, please continue to hold the members of the Vestry and me in prayer as we try to discern the best way forward for St. Dunstan's. As you might imagine, these have been trying times to be in parish leadership, since so much still remains unknown and we are figuring it out day by day, week by week. I am so grateful for your support, and I thank God for each of you. It is a blessing to serve as your Rector.
Peace be with you all,