17 Mar Pastoral Visits to the Church During COVID-19
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
22 Cumberland Street, Clear Spring
Monday, March 16, 2020
From: Father Steve – Vicar of St. Andrew’s
Ref: Scheduled Pastoral Visit During COVID-19 Public Worship Ban.
Happy are they who consider the poor and needy!, the LORD will deliver them in the time of trouble. Psalm 41:1
We are currently living under an umbrella of a serious Pandemic Virus (COVID-19), which most of us have never seen put such an impact on our way of life, especially the Church. Who would have thought our Churches would be required to shut their doors, not to mention the closing of schools, restaurants, and Government services for an unknown extension of time?
As your Priest, I am very saddened by the impact this has on our Church Community, and being able to gather for Public Worship. Locking the doors this past Sunday was “Heart Breaking”. Although, I will continue to Livestream Sunday Morning Prayer to you, and also do the Mass of Intention (Spiritually receive Holy Communion for you.); this is not a substitute that I prefer, especially since we have been seeing our pews filled on Sunday mornings.
Barring any further restrictions, my plan is to get all of you back into the “Locked” Church you love during this Diocesan Wide Ban on Public Worship. Currently, our Bishop has allowed small groups to gather, this includes the A.A. Chapter that meets at St. Andrew’s on Thursday Evenings.
Within the next week, I am going to put a plan into effect for parishioners to visit me inside the Church they Love for a Pastoral Visit. I will generate a schedule for when you will come into the Church to see me. I will only be able to meet with you in small numbers, no more than 6 -10 at a time. The length of the Pastoral Visit for each group will be no longer the 30 minutes. This will not be a Public Worship Service. The scheduling of the groups will be spread out so that there is no chance two groups are in the Church at the same time, and I am able to keep the number of people inside the Church at a very minimum.
The Rev’d. Steven L. McCarty+ – Priest