Rosa's Blog

OUR RECTOR

from Rosa

April 15, 2021

Dearest Holy Comforter Family,

 

We are making good progress as we prepare to return to inside worship for the whole community on April 25th.  There is a great deal on the line and at each step, I want you to understand the “why” of what we are doing. Our planning is guided by the following:

 

1. There is still a whole lot we don’t know or understand about Covid-19. Of greatest concern for me right now is the fact that we don’t know if those who are fully immunized can still be asymptomatic carriers and spreaders of the virus. We don’t have a complete picture of who in our parish is fully immunized and we have a moral obligation to do what we can so we don’t carry the virus to folks like the people who restock shelves at Publix. That means we must worship with an abundance of caution.

 

2. The scientists who have most accurately predicted the way the pandemic would unfold, continue to urge us to be careful and conservative as possible so we don’t lose the ground we’ve gained. They, more than anybody else have guided our planning.

 

3. It is essential for us to manage the tension between having the most meaningful, beautiful liturgy possible and being rigorous about the safety of our community.

 

With all that in mind, here are a few things that will be different when we resume inside worship on the 25th.

 

1. We will have a seating plan/chart that ensures adequate social distancing. That includes asking everyone who plans to attend church to go into our webpage before the end of business on Thursday and follow the links to a sign-in sheet. This is not a reservation system and we won’t turn people away from worship. Rather, we will make sure we have a backup plan in case the number of people who come on any given Sunday exceeds the current capacity of the church and chapel. While we will do what we can as we organize the seating in the church, please know that included in that seating planning is the very real possibility that initially, you will not be able to sit in the pew you have sat in, sometimes for decades. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will start moving to self-seating.

 

2. Communion will be quite different for now. We will only have bread (hosts) and I will stand at the Great Step during that part of the service to distribute communion. The usher team will help ensure there is social distancing as people come to receive the bread. We hope to have a video showing you how that will work on Facebook and our webpage early next week. 

 

3. At this time, we ask that you come to church only for the service and not for fellowship. To that end, when the usher seats you, I beg you to stay in your seat, and at the end of the service proceed to your car when it is your pew’s turn to exit the church.  I know how hard this is, and how frustrating. But in my mind, our success and ability to keep moving forward is going to depend on all of us being willing to sacrifice that time of fellowship for the common good.

 

4. We are going to ask you to ‘self-screen' on Sundays before coming to church. Attached to this newsletter is a questionnaire for this purpose. Please consider printing it and putting it on your fridge or having it easily available to use on Sunday mornings before you come to church. If you are feeling sick, or if you answer yes on any of the items, I hope you will plan to stay home and watch the service via live stream. If the virus has taught us anything it is how connected we all are to each other and how vital it is that we make decisions that take into account the common good.

 

I am thankful for the progress that has made it possible to come this far. I am keenly aware that we have a plan that at first will feel contradictory to the hopes we’ve all had, that one day we would be able to fling open the church doors and resume the worship and fellowship we have always known and loved. I pray and trust that, one step at a time, we will find our way to that beloved experience of a church family, and that we will also experience the grace and joy that comes from knowing we have moved into this new normal committed to “love our neighbor as ourselves” in ways that are true to the danger and devastation represented by Covid-19.

 

With prayers for blessings of joy and the promises of resurrection, Rosa+

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter

2911 Woodley Road Montgomery, Alabama 36111

 

 

 

CONTACT

Tel. 334-281-1337

EMAIL  admin@holycomfortermgm.org

 

*OFFICE HOURS

Monday - Friday 8:30 to 4:00

Friday closed at 1:00 pm

*Our Office hours have changed in accordance with health guidelines. Please call for an appointment.

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