Dear St. John’s Community,
I have important news to share. As you’ve probably seen in the media, yesterday afternoon Bishop Mariann Budde made the responsible but difficult decision to have all churches in the Diocese of Washington cease to have gatherings of any size for the next two weeks. This includes not only worship gatherings, but also business done in church buildings. So much as is possible, we will do our work and ministry remotely, and I expect that we will find creative and new ways to do this. (You can read Bishop Mariann’s full statement here. And a further description of guidelines is here.)
We will be sending resources to help our community stay connected, which will also include ways to worship at home. I am putting together plans for an abbreviated worship service that we will be able to offer from St. John’s to stream on Sunday morning. Information on how to view it will be forthcoming. Also, this Sunday, the cathedral will have a live sermon from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry at 11:15 a.m. (found here.)
More details will be coming soon. Yesterday was a surreal experience for all of us on staff, as you can imagine. The bottom line is that this is absolutely the responsible thing to do.
Remember also that while isolation is good for stopping the spread of disease, it is not good for the soul.
Therefore, I encourage each one of you to actively reach out in any way you can to one another, whether by phone, FaceTime, text, email or anything else that works for you. Fortunately, we are not currently aware of any cases of COVID-19 in our congregation. If you have contracted the virus, please let me know. We want to be able to offer help and prayers to those affected. While this is undoubtedly a difficult time, I hope we can all take this opportunity to stay connected to one another perhaps in new ways while staying connected to God with prayer and reflection. Know that I am praying for you all as well.