Dear St. John’s,
I write to inform you of a new significant development in the Diocese of Washington’s response to the threat of the novel coronavirus – one that directly affects every parish, including St. John’s. I ask that you please take a few moments to read Bishop Mariann Budde’s letter in which she announces the suspension of all church related activities including the mandatory closure of church facilities in our diocese for the next 14 days effective tomorrow, Thursday, March 11.
In light of these developments, here is some essential information for how this will impact St. John’s for the next two weeks (and beyond if necessary).
As of 5:00 pm tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon, the church office will be officially closed through Wednesday, March 25. The operations of the church, however, will continue with staff working from home, including answering phone calls during regular business hours (9:00am – 4:00pm Monday through Thursday). While our staff is working remotely, please use extension 300 to reach the front desk.
Sunday and Mid-Week Services
Per the Bishop’s directive, all Sunday and mid-week services for the next two weeks are suspended.
For this coming Sunday, March 15, Bishop Mariann has invited all the churches of the Diocese of Washington to worship jointly via a live-stream service for which our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will preach. You can access this service at https://cathedral.org/ or the Cathedral Facebook page. The service will take place at 11:00 am.
St. John’s will host its own virtual worship service at 10:00 am on Sunday, March 22, which you can fully participate in from the comfort of your home. More information on this to come.
Two Scheduled Funerals
As most of you know, we have two funerals scheduled over the next few days. Since the church closure does not take effect until Thursday at 5:00 pm, the service for Winnie Smoot scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) at 10:00 am will proceed as planned. Peg Lower’s funeral service, originally scheduled for this coming Saturday at 10:00 am will be rescheduled for a later date.
Other Church Meetings
Committees with scheduled evening meetings may continue as planned by conference or video call. Committee leaders will be provided with toll free call-in instructions to share with their groups.
If you have a pastoral emergency, you can always call 301-654-7767×308
How can I help?
The best thing you can do to help is to check up on your neighbors. We could all use a little extra love during a time like this. You can find instructions on how to find your neighborhood group in the document attached here. If you don’t have access to Breeze, email email@example.com to set up an account.
With prayers for health and peace,