Dear Holy Communion,
Jesus emphasized love of neighbor and care for the vulnerable as central values in the life of his followers. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic we are taking steps to keep one another safe.
As coronavirus cases continue to rise across Missouri, our bishop has suspended all in person worship until at least September 1. We will not be able to worship together physically in our building. In the meantime, we will continue worship online, and this month we will even worship from our cars. Small groups will continue to be convened online and on the phone. Just because our building must remain closed, it does not mean we cease being church.
Even in a pandemic, we have important work to do in Christ’s name. Groups of less than 10 will be allowed to gather for outreach work, in our parish garden, food ministry at Trinity, and for Laundry Love. Sacramental needs will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Clergy may officiate a small wedding in a park. And the clergy may make pastoral visits to folks who feel a strong need for Eucharist. In all cases, these gatherings will carefully adhere to guidelines around mask-wearing and other safety practices.
Our office will remain open only on an “as needed” basis. The staff will be working from home as much as possible, to help them stay safe. Our church phone number has been re-routed and you will reach the staff during normal business operations in their at-home offices. We are receiving mail regularly. You are welcome to mail contributions or any other necessary correspondence to the church at 7401 Delmar Blvd, University City, MO 63130. You can also make a drop off in our mailbox (located just inside the office entrance on Jackson).
In the coming weeks, the vestry and I will be evaluating ongoing guidance from health authorities and the bishop’s office. I long to stand together, to sing together. I want to be able to exchange the peace, and hugs, and share food. We simply can’t do this safely at this time. So we will walk forward slowly, and carefully. We will trust God will continue to be with us.