An Update on Reopening from Mother Susan+
May God’s blessings continue to fill your lives with hope and love. May you and your loved ones remain safe in this time of Coronavirus.
Even though we have been separated in physical distance, our love for each other remains steadfast. As a community that has needed to make adjustments to a treasured way of life, you are to be commended for finding new ways of being together, whether through Zoom gatherings, phone calls or tuning in to worshipping together in heart and spirit even though separately.
As activity is increasing, we are yearning to be together and our Diocese has prepared avenues for how to do this safely. Click here for the Diocese of Oklahoma Guidelines for Congregations that decide to Resume In Person Worship.
The document states: We are all eager to return to gathering in person. However, our joyful anticipation should be tempered with wisdom. We must move forward carefully, not existing in fear, but moving forward with care and prudence…and we will continue to seek the safety of everyone through a phased return.
The document also states that although congregations may reopen on June 14, the decision of when to reopen shall be made on the local level and that congregations are not required to resume In Person Worship if they cannot meet the guidelines or have concerns for the health and safety of church members, staff or clergy. Although some Episcopal churches feel that they can safely reopen on June 14, many more are delaying reopening until more safety can be established.
After careful review of the Guidelines, the Executive Committee and the Parish Health Team have determined that we need more time to prepare and will not be ready to reopen on June 14. We are currently considering a partial reopening on Sunday, July 12, for Morning Prayer in the East Garden at 9 am. However, please be aware that Diocesan Guidelines may be modified or worship suspended depending on public health conditions and guidance by health authorities or public officials.
The Junior Warden has determined that 60 unit spaces will be available for seating in the East Garden in order to allow enough space for social distancing. Unit spaces will be for families who may sit together or for singles.
There will be hand sanitizing and temperature taking stations positioned at the East Garden gates. Disposable masks will be available although we encourage you to bring your own masks. Some benches and chairs will be provided. However, we encourage you to bring your own chairs to set up in the Garden.
In our own homesickness for each other’s company, let us keep in mind that our Presiding Bishop has called us into the rubric of love, reminding us that to walk in the footsteps of Jesus is to walk the way of love which is our highest service to God. This lean season has taught us to love one another in deeper ways as we have come to appreciate our family in Christ all the more.
Canon Susan Joplin+
Susan Urbach, Senior Warden
Mike Murphy, Junior Warden
Ann Bonsteel, Treasurer
Dian Everett, Clerk
Deacon Marilyn Robertson, Parish Nurse and Health Team Chair