COVID-19 Update 3/13/20 5:21 PM CDT
Dear Church Family,
This afternoon, I joined Mayor Johnson and other faith leaders from across the city on a phone call to discuss the recent emergency ordinances enacted yesterday by Dallas County and City. I thought it important to send you a specific update on the ways in which Saint Michael is responding.
Our plans, detailed below, are consistent with the desires of our city and county leaders, as well as the most recent directive from Bishop Sumner. These plans may change or be extended based on new information and emergency declarations, so please keep up to date on our response by visiting our website.
All clergy-led worship services on Sunday and throughout the week will continue as scheduled with the following understandings:
- There will be no gatherings of more than 500 people in a single room. Ushers and other church staff will monitor these numbers. In addition, we don’t expect more than 250 people in a single room in the next two weeks.
- Those who are at risk of serious consequences from COVID-19 (over 60 years of age and people with heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.) are advised not to attend worship or any gathering larger than ten people.
- Any parishioners, including worship volunteers, who feel at risk from this virus are not obligated to attend public worship.
- Clergy are prohibited from shaking hands or giving hugs in receiving lines before or after worship.
- Offering baskets will be available for donations, but offering plates will not be passed.
- Childcare will be offered on Sunday morning at the usual times.
- We will be live-streaming our main worship services at 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday, which provides an opportunity for people to gather in prayer, even if they are not physically present. Click here to view the live stream.
- All of the other precautionary measures included in my previous letters on this topic are still in effect.
In addition, all non-worship Saint Michael gatherings over ten people are suspended through at least Friday, March 20, 2020. This includes St. Mary’s Guild social hour, Christian formation classes, small groups, and Bible studies. Lay-led worship services are also suspended.
Saint Michael Church offices will remain open this week. Saint Michael Episcopal School may establish guidelines that are different than Saint Michael Church, but we are working in consultation with each other.
If you know of any parishioners who need special support or care during this time, please do not hesitate to contact the Rev. Greg Pickens, Associate for Pastoral Care, at 214-363-5471.
These are unpredictable times, but God continues to hold us close and lead us deeper into love.
The Rev. Dr. Christopher D. Girata