Grace and peace to you and your loved ones.
I want to let you know that in keeping with the most recent CDC recommendations, Bishop Mariann announced yesterday that she has extended the timeline of church closures in our diocese through to May 16. As we all continue to wrap our minds around the sheer magnitude of this and other state and national measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak, we are working hard at St. John’s to meet these challenges in the most relevant and relational way we can.
Because these major disruptions have varying social, emotional, and economic effects, and because not all of us are impacted to the same degree, one of the ways St. John’s can be a practical resource during these times is to function as a hub of connection between our parishioners. To that end, the following survey is an initial tool to help us identify some of the felt and anticipated needs among our parishioners as well as resources that we might be able to offer individually and collectively in an effort to be there for each other. Please take a moment to take the survey.
Also, I want to let you know that St. John’s has a modest financial assistance fund set up specifically for times such as this to help our own parishioners who are most affected economically and aren’t unable to meet their financial obligations. This fund was started a year ago during the government shutdown, and we hope that it will provide some relief to our church members during the current crisis. Please email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need financial assistance so that we may help you in a timely and confidential way. Also, if you are blessed with steady financial means, and would like to make a contribution to this fund to assist other fellow parishioners in need, you may do so online (select “Parishioner Relief Fund”) or by writing a check to St. John’s with “Parishioner Relief Fund” in the memo line.
Also, starting tomorrow, we will be providing a mid-week prayer service. Join us at 10:00 am on Zoom Video Conferencing (https://zoom.us/j/973717462 or call 1-301-715-8592 and use meeting ID 973-717-462). If you don’t want to join the meeting, you can also follow along on YouTube live.
Next week, we will offer morning prayer on Tuesdays at 10:00 am and evening prayers on Thursdays at 7:00 pm. These services will be lead by staff members and other volunteers and will be held regularly while St. John’s remains closed. Information on how to access these services will be included in this week’s Crossroads.
Please know that you and your families continue to be in my daily thoughts and prayers as we navigate life during these trying times.