Last week I wrote about not being in a rush to return to in person worship, especially until we are at a point where most people will feel safe retuning and we are able to share the Eucharist. In the clergy call with our Bishop this morning, we discussed the possibility of an outdoor Eucharist where we observe the necessary safety precautions and everyone brings their own bread. Bringing your own bread would take care of the issues around distributing communion, as well as eliminate the need to move around. You could bring rice crackers like we distribute for those who are gluten free, a dinner roll, or homemade bread – whatever would seem most appropriate for Communion for you.
I’d really like to hear how you feel about this. We know that gatherings held outside are less risky than those held indoors. And we know the number of cases in our communities remains low and, so far at least, relatively flat. I think this is doable and that we can keep our risk low, but I don’t want to move forward unless the majority of us are in favor and feel it would be safe to attend. We will talk about this at coffee hour this Sunday, but please feel free to email me if you have concerns.
We would not do this until July, and I’d like to have a team of people who would help me plan, as well as people who would help set up and clean up. After holding the first service we would evaluate and move forward accordingly. We might decide to do this once or twice a month, every week, or never again!
There are numerous conditions that would need to be met, and the following list may not be exhaustive. Keeping that in mind, please consider whether you would attend an outdoor Eucharist under these conditions:
· Maintain 6 ft. distancing at all times
· Wear masks
· Verbal exchange of the Peace while remaining in place
· Bring your own bread for Communion. (Wine would not be offered.)
· Building open for bathrooms, but no gathering. Markings on sidewalk for standing in line, and enter through one door, exit another
· Bulletins sent out for you to print at home, with limited number available at church
· No singing
· No coffee hour
· No sound system
· Bugs and warm weather are likely so bring your own bug spray, bug hat, fan, etc.
· We would not be able to provide a tent big enough for everyone to remain physically distant. Do you need a tent for shade? Would an umbrella suffice?
· Service would be canceled in the event of rain or excessive heat (and held via Zoom as usual)
· A Safety Officer is required by the Governor’s guidelines
Questions to consider:
1. Given these conditions, would you attend an outdoor service?
2. Would you be part of the planning team?
3. Would you be the safety officer?
4. Would you help with set up and clean up (chairs, table for the altar)?
I’ll pose these questions at coffee hour on Sunday. Please respond to me via email if you will not be in church on Sunday or have personal concerns. I look forward to hearing your feedback!
via Zoom (see email for Zoom information)
or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/standrewsinthevalleytamworth/
Next Sunday, June 21, we will worship with the Bishop at 9:00 am, as I will be on vacation Monday, June 15 – Sunday, June 21.
Coffee Hour on Zoom will follow services on both Sundays.
Many thanks to Pat Adams and Sammie Wakefield for hosting Coffee Hour and our Compline and Morning Prayer services on Zoom in my absence. These services will not be available on Facebook Live while I’m away, so plan to tune in via Zoom.
In our Hebrew scripture the Lord appears to Abraham and promises that he and Sarah will have a son. As often seen in biblical narratives, the Lord’s presence is disguised, this time in one of three visitors. Abraham may suspect God’s nearness, but he also generously fulfils his duty of hospitality to strangers. Because both of them are well beyond the years of childbearing, Sarah laughs when she overhears the exchange between God and Abraham, but the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise will later bring her great joy. Abraham will place his trust in God’s power and through this son become the father of a great people.
Psalm 116:1, 12-19: An offering of thanksgiving and praise by one who has been rescued from death.
For those who are homebound: Joyce Gendron, Marge Hagerup, Elizabeth Pease, Susannah Keith, Alida, Dylan, Brian & Sara Kelley, Bob Wallace, Carl Mamigonian, Elizabeth Wiesner, Judy Grace, Audrey Berry.
For our First Nation people and those in this country who are living in impoverished areas of the Ninth Ward of New Orleans and the inner city areas populated by some of our poorest citizens.
For all those who are on the front lines serving communities during these difficult times.
Last week’s answers:
1. A crucifix carries an image of the crucified Jesus; a cross does not. Either one may be carried in procession, in or outside the church.
2. Barbara Lord has woven a beautiful white frontal for Saint Andrew’s, a gift from Rev. Heidi to celebrate Heidi’s ministry with us. Our Pentecost Sunday frontal is gold and red; for the season of Pentecost it is smaller, green, and decorated with a chalice, grapes, and bread.
3. A dalmatic is a vestment worn by a Deacon during celebrations of the Holy Eucharist.
4. Although Doris Chadwick arrived to start writing her three-volume autobiography, it was Bishop Polly Miskin who was looking for her cope.
A NEW PUZZLE
Which of the following rectors used a red plastic telephone to talk with God during the sermon?
Next Food Pantry: June 24
Can You Imagine?
For example, what the trees do
not only in lightning storms
or the watery dark of a summer’s night
or under the white nets of winter
but now, and now, and now—whenever
we’re not looking. Surely you can’t imagine
they don’t dance, from the root up, wishing
to travel a little, not cramped so much as wanting
a better view, or more sun, or just as avidly
more shade—surely you can’t imagine they just
stand there loving every
minute of it, the birds or the emptiness, the dark rings
of the years slowly and without a sound
thickening, and nothing different unless the wind,
and then only in its own mood, comes
to visit, surely you can’t imagine
patience, and happiness, like that.
~ Mary Oliver, Devotions, p. 192
16 Tina Quinn
photos and I will post each week!
send to email@example.com
Now that the weather is getting better and we are finding time outside
please share your pictures of what you are doing...
Getting your gardens ready? Going for a hike?
Planting flowers? Taking in a picnic? Wildlife encounters?