A Message From Vice Rector Ken Brannon (3/18/20)
March 18, 2020
Greetings from Saint Michael Church! I much prefer when we can gather together in person, but I know this practice of social distancing will save lives and ease the impact on our healthcare system, so I do it willingly and hopefully.
Please remember to pray during this time. Our weekday Lenten podcasts will be helpful in this regard. Just 5-10 minutes every day will keep you grounded and serve as a welcome break from the barrage of breaking news.
I wanted to update you on some important information related to COVID-19 and how it is impacting our church right now. Regular updates may be found at www.saintmichael.org/c19.
The Bishop has just issued a new pastoral message canceling all public gatherings in diocesan churches and facilities through Easter Sunday (April 12). As a result, beginning this Sunday, we will offer a live stream of our services at 9:00 A.M. (Traditional) and 11:00 A.M. (Contemporary) until further notice. Please join us each week at www.saintmichael.org/live. We also expect to live stream services during Holy Week. We will be in touch about other online learning opportunities as they become available.
In light of the Bishop’s message, and in keeping with CDC guidelines, we will not host public gatherings at the church and will try to avoid small groups in one room larger than ten people. Also, those who are sick or in high-risk categories should stay home.
The Bishop has also clarified that on-site weddings are not permitted, and funerals are discouraged, until public gatherings are reinstated. If there is a pressing need to conduct a funeral, it may only include immediate family and must not exceed 50 people. Offsite weddings are at the discretion of the clergy person and may not exceed 50 people.
Most church staff are now working from home, although some clergy and essential staff are working on site. Due to the current restrictions on church gatherings, we plan to limit access to the church building through the South Lanai entrance only (off Colgate Ave) and only keep the building open during normal business hours (8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.).
Clergy continue to be available as needed for prayer and consultation. If you experience a pastoral emergency and need to speak to a priest right away, please call the priest-on-call at 214-232-7512.
We are grateful to all those who have reached out to us, pledging their continued financial support. Your giving keeps our ministry strong and helps us care for our staff, our community, and one another.
These are extraordinary times, and you are extraordinary people. Thank you for your courage and faithfulness in the midst of the storm.
The Rev. Dr. Kenneth H. Brannon