Sunday Announcement, March 15, 2020
On Friday, following the governor’s press conference and the new emergency recommendations of our state health department, we made the difficult decision to suspend in person worship for the coming week, and perhaps beyond.
This is especially difficult because we know that in times of crisis our instinct as a community is to gather, to be with each other, to embrace and support each other with our presence. But this particular crisis calls us to do the opposite for the sake of those most vulnerable in our community. We are indeed one community, one body, and that body is threatened by a virus that we have not seen before. None of us has lived through a crisis just like this before; and all of us are praying for wisdom and discernment in the midst of so many unknowns. And honestly those of us in the room today are trying to figure this out as well, how to best share with you this spirit of worship even though we can’t see you all listening.
Here at St. John’s we will continue to adjust our plans and our ministry as best we can with the knowledge we have in the moment. Today at 10 a.m. the governor will be speaking with further updates and we expect that that may shape our plans for the coming days.
For now, we know that today’s events and this coming Wednesday’s programming, meal and vespers are canceled. We will be meeting this week to think about how to give both physical and spiritual support to this community with the means we have available to us now. Please do be in touch with us by phone and email with your feedback about this broadcast and how we can support each other in this time.
This is a time of disappointment for everyone as we see so many things canceled or suspended: in-person classes, athletic events, vacations, reunions, long-awaited celebrations and performances. It is a time of continued uncertainty as we look further into the future and wonder what else is in jeopardy. It is a time of loneliness for people who must stay isolated. It is a time of economic anxiety as so many see the impact on their businesses and savings and employment prospects. And for most of us, it is a time of fear, if not for our own health, then for that of people we love.
But we must not forget that this time, this world, this community also belongs to God. More than ever, we are called to live in the present, and be grateful for the life we have on this day. Let’s take time to reflect on what is really most important in our lives, and let the Holy Spirit inspire us into words and acts of love that we perhaps have been too busy to contemplate before.