We have established a Parish COVID-19 Task Force (Bettina McBeth, Chris Cuttitta, Julie Haller, and Vicar Taylor Berdahl) who will be responsible for continuing to monitor the pandemic’s progression and adjusting our parish practices accordingly.
Due to current COVID-19 safety concerns, in-person worship has been temporarily suspended. Please see our Home page for remote worship opportunities.
From the Vicar:
Since December 6th, 2020, we have been worshipping remotely, temporarily suspending in-person worship. I am grateful for your flexibility as we protect one another's health and safety in the face of exponentially rising COVID-19 cases right here in our community.
Worship is central to our lives of faith, and scripture is quite clear that God's presence is not limited to religious buildings like temples or synagogues. In fact, the earliest Christian "churches" were simply gatherings at homes. What we most mourn with this decision is the separation from one another, which has characterized so much of this year. We hope to be together again as soon as it is safely possible, and promise to care for one another creatively in an especially lonely season in the meantime. Our Creator is the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and I find myself deeply in awe of the Holy Spirit who holds us together beyond physical and technological boundaries. What a gift it is to trust in a Savior who has defied all that we once considered impossible. We continue to pray for healing from the virus, comfort for those grieving loss of life, strength and wisdom for healthcare professionals and public health officials, and a speedy distribution of effective vaccines.
The end is in sight, but it is not here yet. The COVID-19 Task Force is committed to protecting the spiritual, social, and physical needs of our parish. Please pray for God's guidance in this not-so-simple task, and do not hesitate to reach out with questions, comments, or concerns.
Vaccines are coming!
While the approved COVID-19 vaccines will not, on their own, rid us completely of the virus immediately, they are expected to severely decrease public health risks as they’re distributed, and as people choose to take them. As we desire to be together again and as we work for the collective safety of the community around us, please start thinking ahead. What questions or concerns do you have about the vaccine? Where and how might you access it? Check out verified information from the CDC and PA Dept. of Health websites embedded below. Call your doctor with general questions about the vaccine, and especially with questions specific to your personal risks and accessibility to a vaccine.
A Prayer for Putting on a Face Mask
Creator God, as I prepare to go into the world, help me to see the sacramental nature of wearing this cloth. Let it be a tangible and visible way of living love for my neighbors, as I love myself.
Christ Jesus, since my lips will be covered, uncover my heart, that people would see my smile in the crinkles around my eyes. Since my voice may be muffled, help me to speak clearly, not only with my words, but with my actions.
Holy Spirit, as the elastic touches my ears, remind me to listen carefully and caringly to all those I meet. May this simple piece of cloth be shield and banner, and may each breath that it holds be filled with your love.
In your name and in that love, I pray. Amen.
-written by Rev. Richard Bott
PARISH RULES FOR IN-PERSON GATHERING DURING COVID
The Covid-19 task force (Bettina McBeth, Chris Cuttitta, Julie Haller, and Vicar Taylor Berdahl) have approved the following guidelines for safe worship practice. Thank you for showing love to your neighbors by following these rules.
1. MASKS ARE REQUIRED. Please wear your own mask.
2. SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIRED. Leave empty pews between people, and sit checkerboard fashion. No one should sit directly behind or in front of anyone else. There will be no greeters.
3. NO SINGING. Singing causes us to expel the air in our lungs with force, it raises the risk of infection, masks or not.
4. NO PASSING OF THE PEACE. Just pretend it is an extended flu season.
5. NO PHYSICAL PASSING OF ANYTHING. Collection plates and bulletins are placed at the entrances/exits so there is no physical passing from one person to another.
6. We will have bulletins to use for the services so hymnals will not be required. Please touch as little as possible when in your pews.
7. We will have communion with sealed, pre-packaged individual communion servings. Directions for distribution will be shared at that time in the service. There will be trash receptacles at the exits for disposal.
8. Attendance will be taken at each church each Sunday. Should an outbreak occur, the congregation can be notified. If anyone receives a positive test for COVID, please report it to the task force immediately.