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Regathering for Worship: A Letter to the Parish from Fr. Win

Dear Christ and St. Luke’s Family:

We have now reached unprecedented levels of this dreadful virus in the Hampton Roads region, and especially in Norfolk. 

In light of this disturbing trend and following much prayer, consultation with  our regathering panel including our health advisors, I have made the difficult decision that it is prudent to delay our regathering in the church for worship.

Some of you may recall that we had set August 2 as a tentative date for regathering. 

The new target date will be Sunday, September 6. This will provide more time to monitor the trends.

I am looking for at least a 7 day flattening or preferably a decline in cases. 

Fr. Jess’s Thursday Holy Eucharist will follow the same plan as the Sunday Liturgy. 

Besides the worrying increase in COVID-19, the sudden loss of half the church sanctuary’s  HVAC makes it particularly important to proceed more slowly than we anticipated. Comfort is not the issue as much as the all important question of adequate ventilation.

While this delay is disappointing, the rest of the parish ministries are full and active.

The Thursday outreach to the homeless and working poor continues in the Lychgate Garden, enhanced by the abundance of fresh food from our community garden.

Caring for Creation, Women of Wisdom, Centering Prayer, the building renovations, the “Beyond the Book” discussion group, Cancer Spirituality group, international  outreach and Stephen Ministry continue to thrive. 

In June the Stephen Ministry program graduated six new, highly trained Stephen Ministers. If you know of anyone who might benefit from a Stephen Minister, please let me know.

The young adult pub theology group now meets weekly (virtually) and is discussing the book, How to Be an Antiracist.

Last month the Vestry approved the purchase and installation of six high definitional video cameras. These will offer even better opportunities for first rate, creative virtual Sunday Liturgies as well as live streaming once we are regathered in the church building. 

I have begun the search for a Family Ministry Coordinator to expand faith and fellowship opportunities for our younger  families and their children and youth.

I am exploring several options for receiving Holy Communion at your home. We have presented one plan to the Bishop who is considering its possibility.

We are also exploring the feasibility of a very brief Sunday and Wednesday, 7:30 pm Compline Service in the Lychgate Garden.

If you have any questions or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I am very comfortable with your texting or calling me on my mobile number: 757-286-8897.

I miss you all so much, but we will be together again.

Thank you for continuing to be such a loving and supportive part of the Christ and St. Luke’s parish family. Remember, in the building or out of the building, you belong!

Please wear your mask as an act of sacrificial love to protect the vulnerable around you and take care of yourselves. 

Love to you all! Win+