Our last in-person worship gathering was Sunday, March 8th. Tomorrow, Pentecost Sunday, May 31, will be our THIRTEENTH straight worship gathering on Zoom.
God bless Zoom, but I’m ready to see y’all face to face again! Can I get an AMEN?!
The Vestry and Staff have been discussing how best to respond and react to the latest news on COVID-19. We are tracking cases and deaths via this website, and Indiana’s plan to reopen can be found here.
We continue to believe that gathering our whole church body in-person for worship is not wise, loving, or practical at this time, so we will continue to gather online for worship through the month of June. As always, we are constantly monitoring statistics from the state of Indiana and stories from churches that are re-gathering to assess the best way forward for July and following.
But we do have a few ideas about how to expand our connection with each other over the next few weeks. Here’s what we are thinking:
1) “Micro-gatherings” for Table Groups, DNA Groups, and Sunday Eucharist
Many of you have expressed a desire to gather together for worship and fellowship with those who are of a similar mind about it, during the week for Table Group, DNA Group and/or on Sunday mornings in homes to participate together in online worship.
We’d give our blessings for these kinds of gatherings, with the following protocols:
- Gatherings must be under 15 people, with outdoor gatherings being preferred.
- Face coverings are utilized, and CDC social distancing guidelines are practiced.
- Explicit agreement up front from all parties who are gathering on social distancing and sanitary precautions, including expectations on face masks, hand sanitizer, physical distancing, expectations for kids, etc. Everyone should know ahead of time what they are signing up for.
2) Pre-consecrated Eucharist elements for worship
Fr. Ben and I have been talking with other priests in Indiana and one innovation we’ll be implementing next week is to consecrate a month’s supply of Eucharist elements (bread only) to distribute to anyone who wants, for use during our Sunday morning worship gatherings in June. This would allow us to participate in Holy Communion together on Sundays.
If you’d like to receive pre-consecrated elements, fill out the form below by Tuesday evening, and the elements will be delivered on Thursday or Friday.
Here’s how it will work:
- Ben or I will consecrate the Eucharist elements on Wednesday (using a face mask, with just-washed hands that will touch only the elements and the zip-loc bags).
- Someone will deliver the elements in zip-loc bags to your home on Thursday or Friday. You can sanitize the bag if you like, and set it aside in a special place until Sunday morning (since the elements have been consecrated, they’ve been set aside specifically for use in Holy Communion, and should be handled with reverence and care).
- On Sunday, before worship starts, remove elements for one week from the bag and place them on a small plate in a central place.
- During Holy Communion, everyone with pre-consecrated elements will partake together during the “Ministration of the Elements” part of the liturgy. Others can say the prayer for Spiritual Communion.
Again, if you’d like to receive pre-consecrated elements, fill out the form below by Tuesday evening, and the elements will be delivered on Thursday or Friday.
We hope these ideas help us abide this difficult season of being apart, and lead us deeper into worship as we maintain our commitment to love each other and our neighbors in this time.
As always, Fr. Ben and I are available to chat and pray with anyone who desires; feel free to respond to this email and we can set up a time to chat.
God bless you all. It’s a joy to serve you as a Priest and join you in prayer for an end to this pandemic.