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A Note from the Rector - March 25, 2020

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Dear Friends,

This is Wednesday, March 25th, and the spread of the novel coronavirus is continuing worldwide.  While our physical church building is closed for a time, know that we are mobilizing all our gifts for ministry and various resources to help us be physically apart but spiritually together in heart and mind.  I want to bring you up to speed as to what we are doing to make this possible.

Last week we identified various staff to prioritize their work as follows: Judy Parock – Communications/Facebook and worship support; Connie Gertz – Bookkeeping support; Gretchen Strohmaier – Organizing volunteers to organize other volunteers (to do phone calls, identify needs of parishioners, assist as safely possible); Dorcie Dvarishkis – Outreach coordination with M.I.C. and wider community; Nancy Cooper – music and worship planning; and P.J. Willett – Computer tech support/checking on youth and their families.  I will oversee our virtual worship planning, communications with the bishop and diocese, and support to staff and lay leaders.  Pastoral care is primary, especially as the pandemic spreads more widely and needs change daily.  We are doing pastoral phone calls, texts, and emails as seems best.  We are hoping to be able to have several ways for all of us, lay and ordained, to keep in touch with one another on a regular basis, to be our eyes and ears, so that Gretchen and I can have time to care for pastoral needs as they begin to arise. 

This week we are preparing for a different way to offer Holy Week and Easter services on-line, and to help get avenues up and available so that there can be small group gatherings for Bible study, book studies, meetings (ex. Vestry), and virtual fellowship where you can set up time to get face to face visiting through  I have purchased a Zoom video plan that will help us to do this, and which may even be able to assist our brothers and sisters in Hamilton and Stevensville to participate if they desire.  I will be learning how to use this tool and will let you know how to access it soon! 

I understand that some of you really struggled with connecting to last Sunday’s virtual worship via Facebook Live streaming.  Please call the office and let us know if you need assistance.  We have several parishioners willing to assist by calling and talking you through each step.  While you may see a strip across the bottom of our Parish Facebook Page asking you to Log in or Sign up – You Do Not Have to Do That to use our site.  Please call or email us to ask for help.  We have had trouble getting the recording on to YouTube, but we will keep trying.  Thank you for all the feedback about our first virtual service.  Some of you had trouble hearing us while others had no problem at all.  We are working to improve this as well as adjusting the lighting a bit more for a better image.  We will do worship in this way until such time as we must offer a service individually from home.  We are preparing for that possibility as well. 

“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NRSV) 

Faithfully with you,