Worship Materials for Easter VII, 24 May
When Can We Open for In-Person Worship?
All of us long for a time to worship in the church with our families, friends and neighbors, and I promise you that time is coming. But it will come slowly, with baby steps and incremental changes before it feels like it used to — if it ever does. And online participation through social media is here to stay, even with the church beginning to come together “in-person.”
The are still many more questions than answers, but some of the shape of what is ahead of us can be found in the extensive documentation that is now available on the Diocese of Maryland website under the rubric of “Regathering.” You’ll find it here, but I suggest you steel yourself for a host of details and complicated flow charts. Please keep in mind that the decision to welcome people into our sanctuary is made by the Rector and Bishop, in consultation with our Vestry, working independently of any political pressure.
When Emmanuel Church can demonstrate that it can open safely, according to the standards outlined in the “Orange Phase” documentation, we will apply to the Bishop for permission to regather, and we will do so as quickly as we can. But it will take a lot of work and a lot of volunteer effort.
I urge you to read through this — perhaps in small bites (bytes?) — so that you too can imagine what it will take to move ahead. Please ask yourself how you can be helpful as we plan our next steps.
The Rev’d Canon Dr. Mark Gatza