To the Beloved of St. James’,
Many have been sharing with me how much they miss our church. I understand! I do as well. None of us expected to be away from St. James’ this long. Since March, we have tried to be faithful to our call to worship and as creative as possible in providing the best possible service we are able to do given the COVID restrictions and our need to proceed with an abundance of caution.
It may be a while before we will be allowed back inside the sanctuary.
This past Sunday we celebrated our third Sunday Eucharist on the church patio at 8:00 am. Beginning this coming Sunday, we will be moving the service to the 9:00 am hour to allow more to attend. The early hour proved to be very difficult for families with children and for those who are not inclined to rise at dawn. We have attempted to address this by moving the service to a more convenient hour before it becomes too warm on the patio.
I have often said that God is the audience on Sunday morning. All that we do is for the worship of God. Yet this pandemic has forced us to consider new platforms for worship. The church has invested in audio visual equipment for live streaming services. We have been experimenting with this and have worked out a few glitches along the way.
This coming Sunday we are excited to unveil the latest addition to our online worship – a new live streaming service! Our new system includes many improvements:
It has been a tradition at St. James’ to commemorate anniversaries, birthdays or remember a loved one by providing flowers for the Sunday altar. However, in lieu of flowers, you may now sponsor the Live Streaming of our weekly service.
We will dedicate the service to honor the occasion or person you wish to remember. Please call or email the office if you wish to dedicate an upcoming Sunday as a Memorial.
If you are able to join us on the patio for the 9:00 am service, please do. It is good to see one another and worship together. Please call or email the church office if you plan to attend so that we can reserve a place for you or your family group that is socially distant from others. Shade is provided. Masks are required, health screening with a temperature check is conducted prior to entering the patio. Each chair and the patio restroom will be cleansed after each individual use. As a precaution, there is no communal singing, music is by organ or strings only, collection plates are not passed person to person, prayers are whispered, and groups do not intermingle. Communion is by bread alone and the host is not touched by the priest. Cones are placed in the parking lot to allow space between cars and allow social distancing when you arrive and depart. Given all of this, it is still a joy to be together from 6 feet away!
Again, let us continue to hold one another closely in prayer and especially remember the Workers of Mercy serving on the front lines of this pandemic and researchers attempting to develop a vaccine. May God continue to bless you and your loved ones.
Rev. Anne Tumilty