Beloved in Christ,
I hope this finds you trusting God. In March I directed that all meetings, pastoral care, and worship of the diocese be moved online until at least May 24th in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After much consultation with our Presiding Bishop and a team of health care professionals from our diocese, I am now directing that all meetings, worship, and pastoral care remain online or by other remote means until further notice, effective today.
In addition, Mikell Leaders, in consultation and agreement with the Bishop and Bishop’s staff, have decided that the safest and best course of action is to cancel all summer programs at Camp Mikell for summer 2020. Please read the additional statement from Camp Mikell’s leadership here.
Like you, this prolonged absence from one another in worship and the disruption of much of our good work causes me feelings of loss and grief. Still, our loss and grief in this regard is a small price to pay to keep one another healthy and safe. More than that, increasingly and marvelously, individuals and congregations in the diocese are “…hewing out of this mountain of despair a stone of hope.” To them I say, thank you and well done.
As the weeks unfold, know that my team and I will continue to consult with a wide circle of advisers and health care professionals to determine when it is reasonably safe to begin to worship in person. We will continue to provide updates through our twice monthly zoom calls with clergy and wardens and more widely as circumstances evolve.
While I realize that phrases like “until further notice” can and will trigger intense feelings of uncertainty and disorientation in some, my prayer is that this time of uncertainty will produce new certainty about the gift of faith that we enjoy. “Do not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9