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A Letter From the Rector Regarding COVID-19

News--Rector's Update Philippians

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   

––Philippians 4:6-7

Dear St. Philip’s Family,

We all share a justifiable anxiety about the threat posed by the spread of the novel coronavirus, and as your Rector, I want to assure you that we are monitoring the situation closely and saying our prayers daily. We are also taking some precautionary measures to ensure the safety and health of our parishioners in worship. We believe that God is the sovereign Lord of the universe and that none of this has taken Him by surprise, but we also recognize our need to be responsible citizens and to care for the most vulnerable members of our community. To that end, we will be implementing the following changes to our worship and parish schedule effective this Sunday.

  • At the Bishop’s direction, communion will be administered in one kind only (bread) in the churches of the Diocese; the celebrant will drink from the chalice on behalf of the congregation.
  • The church will be wiped down and disinfected by the sextons following each worship service and hand sanitizer will be available at all exits.
  • Offering plates will be conveniently located for Sunday collection but will not be passed during the service.
  • We will forgo the receiving lines at the end of the service and refrain from shaking hands at the Peace prior to communion. 
  • Our regular schedule of Bible studies and classes, choir practices, etc. will continue for the time being.

Let me assure you, these decisions are not being made in fear, but out of love and concern for our neighbors and the high-risk members among us. This is, of course, a very fluid situation, and additional changes to our activities and programs may be necessary, so please watch for emails and updates from the parish office. In the meantime, know that these are meant to be temporary changes, and we look forward to returning to normal as soon as the crisis has passed. 

Finally, in these dark and uncertain hours, remember we have access to that peace which surpasses understanding—it’s a peace we are meant to share, and it’s a peace the world desperately needs! 

Yours in Christ Jesus, the Great Physician,