A PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE RECTOR 3/23/20 4 PM CDT
I hope this note finds you healthy and happily sheltered wherever you are!
As you likely know, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued an order requiring county residents to shelter in place effective at midnight tonight. In accordance with that order, as well as Bishop Sumner’s directive to suspend all public gatherings through at least April 12, the Saint Michael campus will close at 4:30 p.m. today and remain closed until we are permitted to reopen. Yet even with these restrictions in place, we remain God’s church in the world!
This week, our church continues shifting into our new reality with vision and commitment. We are calling our active members to check in and share some love. We continue to check in safely with all our members who are most vulnerable. As noted in previous letters, please let us know if you need support or if you know of someone in our community who needs support.
Beginning this week, we will be offering digital formation and education opportunities. If you participate regularly in Sunday Formation or in small group studies, stay tuned for ways that you can help continue meeting digitally. In addition, I highly recommend that you visit the media page on our website. There, you can find recordings of sermons, classes, Bible studies, and more. This is a great option for those of you looking to connect beyond the walls of your home. Remember to tune in to our Lenten Podcast Series each weekday, too!
Even with the new county order, online worship will continue! We have had amazing response to our online worship, with more than 3,000 people tuning in to watch our two services this past Sunday. New last Sunday, you can download each of the worship bulletins, including the music, so you can sing, pray, and learn with us wherever you are. Visit the Saint Michael Live page of our website to be part of our Sunday worship, and please share the experience with family and friends around the world!
Finally, I want you to know that your continued giving supports all the work we share. I specifically want to note that we are taking care of our excellent staff in this uncertain time. All of our staff have been hustling to deliver and support our work and it’s very important to me that they maintain security when the world seems so insecure. With support from the vestry, and in addition to our salaried staff, I am committing to continue paying our non-salaried, hourly employees even though our facility is closed. They give so much, and this is a chance for us to show our gratitude in a very meaningful way.
My friends, this is an extraordinary time that calls for extraordinary faith, and I count it a privilege to serve with you. May you continue to feel God’s presence and be blessed in all you do.
The Rev. Dr. Christopher D. Girata