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An Update From Our Rector

Jeff-Miller-2019-500x333

Dear St. Philip’s Family,

This past week, Bishop Lawrence announced to the clergy of our diocese a new set of guidelines intended to direct the next phase of our worship planning in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines go into effect on May 17 for all parishes hoping to resume public worship. It is important to understand that these are guidelines and not a one-size-fits-all solution for every parish in the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina. The following excerpts are of particular importance:

1. The Nature of the Problem. Much of what we need to know to make good decisions about resuming public worship remains unknown. What is certain is that much of its spread is by asymptomatic carriers. That makes containment far more difficult and far more dangerous for those who are vulnerable. As we seek to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” there is a cost involved. We have a responsibility to manage the risks of public gatherings for now, primarily by managing time and distance. Out of love for our neighbors, risk must be addressed, because for some, this virus poses significant danger. 

2. The Nature of our Circumstances. Every parish faces unique local circumstances. There are significant differences in the sizes of our congregations, their demographics, their local communities, and the spaces in which we worship. All of these contribute to the risks and perceptions of risk involved in public worship. And we also vary greatly in our ability to modify those risks. There is no one solution that will work well for everyone in Diocese. 

Because we are a diverse congregation in terms of age and health concerns, and because it would be extremely difficult to practice the necessary social distancing required to resume public worship, we at St. Philip’s will restrict ourselves to broadcast services through at least May 24. My hope is that by Pentecost on May 31 or by sometime in June the situation will have sufficiently improved to allow us to physically gather once again in our beloved church on a modified schedule. In the meantime, Bible studies, classes, and daily devotions will continue! For those who are still anxious about public gatherings and for those in high-risk categories, we will continue to record the Sunday service and make it available throughout the summer on both YouTube and Vimeo. 

Finally, let me thank you for your continued faithfulness! We have endeavored to offer a beautiful, high-quality worship service that is worthy of our Lord and which meets the needs of our parishioners, and we could not have done it without you and your continued generosity. You are an amazing parish family and I am privileged to serve as your Rector. These are strange and challenging times, but St. Philip’s continues to be a lighthouse to this community and to the world! 

PLEASE remember that your priests are available to be of service in any way we can, so don’t hesitate to call. In the meantime, be assured of our love and prayers!

Faithfully Yours,
Jeff+

Clergy contact info
The Rev. Jeff Miller: (843) 812-0556
The Rev. Andrew O'Dell: (843) 639-9084
The Rev. Marc Boutan: (843) 737-1277
The Rev. Brian McGreevy: (843) 793-9830
The Rev. Ryan Streett: (843) 601-1120
Your clergy and staff are here for you. Please email us with any needs or concerns, or contact a priest directly at one of the numbers above. You may also fill out the questionnaire at the link below to let the clergy know how best to address to your needs.
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