December 3 Important Update Regarding In Person Worship
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. --Psalm 126:1
December 3, 2020
As you may have already guessed based on the recent news of rising Covid-19 cases and deaths, we are entering a critical season in our community. The actions we chose to make today as individuals and institutions will have a direct effect on the well being of our neighbors and those we love. So it is with a mixture of sadness and hope that I officially inform you we will not be holding in-person worship on Christmas Eve or Day. In consultation with our Vestry leadership I have made the decision to suspend in-person worship through at least the end of January 2021.
I am sad because I love church at night! And worshipping together in the twilight with my siblings in Christ, hearing the good news of peace on earth and goodwill towards all people, and walking up to the altar to contemplate the babe lying in the manager as those shepherds did two millennia ago is the highlight of my family’s annual celebration of Christmas. How I wished to share that moment with all of you. And yet my head and my heart agree with God’s wisdom on this one: we must continue to do our part to help curb the rising tide of Covid-19 cases. You are all very precious to me, your fellow SCEC members, and your loved ones. You are all essential! And so, it is best for us to gather together remotely on this holiest of nights, and for several Sundays to come.
My friends, I also have so much hope! For a light is shining in the darkness with the news of vaccines in production and beginning to be distributed very soon to the most vulnerable in our world. Yes, it will be quite a while, several months in fact, before vaccinations are widespread enough that we can return to some sort of normalcy in our lives, including the life of SCEC. I do feel though with this little light flickering in the darkness that I have been given hope and permission by the Holy Spirit, to paraphrase the psalmist, to dream of the day our fortunes will be restored in the fullness of our fellowship. This coming year you will hear more from me and our Vestry as we invite you to dream with us what deeper connection looks like in our church, and what gathering together after this pandemic will look like as well. Certainly lots of feasting, and singing, and giving thanks to God! And also holding one another in our grief for all that has been lost as well.
My goodness, what a year this has been! I encourage you to continue to comfort one another. And to pray without ceasing for the healing of the world. God is with us, I know that without a doubt. May that knowledge give you hope and joy this season and always.
The Peace of Christ be with you,
December 24th, 2020 Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist: 5:00P.M. livestream to Facebook and YouTube. Home Holy Communion curbside pickup available at 6:30P.M.
December 25th, 2020 Christmas Day Morning Prayer 10:00A.M. on Zoom and live streamed to Facebook. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, December 21 at 12 noon for the Zoom meeting information.
Church Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/StCharlesEpiscopalIL/
Church YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkOLnNX1LQtRJKXJi1h_QBw