Yesterday in church I said that this service may very well be the last time we gather together in person for worship. Today I have made the difficult decision that we will indeed suspend in-person worship for the foreseeable future. The CDC has recommended that there be no gatherings of 50 people or more. I’ve read other experts who say even that number is too high. We have not received any directive from Bishop Wright yet, but I feel sure he will also be making that call. This may be for longer than we had first anticipated, which means we will soon start looking at ways to celebrate Holy Week and Easter online.
Please note that I did not say that the church is closed. The building will be closed, but the church remains open! We — each and every one of you — are the church. As much as we love our building, that is not what makes St. Dunstan’s. We will still be worshipping God and caring for one another. Fortunately, my technical advisor is home from college, and with his help we will have a service live-streamed from the church on Sunday mornings. We’re looking at other offerings, too. We’ll be getting the details on how that will work out to you later. But for now, know that the Eucharist will be celebrated, and all of you are invited to participate from your own homes. We are the communion of saints, and we will celebrate as a scattered parish with all who have come before and who will come after us. Thanks be to God!
I laughed when I saw yesterday’s AJC story about churches moving to online worship. The accompanying photo was of a church’s studio control room, with many cameras and screens. Their livestream was as slick and professional as any TV network. We won’t have that. We’ll be working with an iPhone and a tripod. But what we may lack in sophistication and polish will be made up for with the sincerity of our offerings.
I will be back in touch later with more information on how we go together from here. In the meantime, stay safe, and please let me know if you are in need of anything.