August 31, 2020
Dear People of God,
As we continue to make our way through these challenging times, I write on behalf of the St. Luke’s Regathering Task Force to give you an update.
Using state, federal, and diocesan guidelines, our Sunday morning worship services have been very successful. Everyone has pulled together with mask wearing and social distancing, and communion has gone very smoothly. We had our largest attendance yet on Sunday, August 23. I am now greeting parishioners at the end of the service (socially distanced, of course). And we will be prepared to add a service when attendance numbers warrant doing so.
As part of what may now be the “new normal,” we will continue offering worship services online. We have recently had audio issues that have caused problems for online participants, and we are working to resolve those problems.
We have also discussed the possibility of having more in-person gatherings. While we believe that some small gatherings can be reinstated, at this time we do not think an in-person coffee hour would be prudent as social distancing for that gathering would be extremely difficult.
Plans for a virtual children’s Sunday school program for the Fall are underway. We are also considering the return of children’s formation, perhaps with outdoor gatherings (weather permitting). However, discussions with parents indicate that the challenges of returning to school and the desire to see a leveling of the recent spike in cases are taking precedence over returning to church.
While many of the Regathering Task Force’s decisions are necessarily made in response to the coronavirus, we are beginning to discuss plans for the day when there is a vaccine. In the meantime, we will continue to consider additional ways we can regather as circumstances permit.
We greatly appreciate your understanding, patience, and prayers as we move forward.
Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask, practice social distancing, and give thanks for the many blessings God has given us through our St. Luke’s church family.
Fr. Bryan Owen, Rector