E-Newsletter for Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sign Up for Worship, Join the Coronavirus Response Team and more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, June 28, 2020 – Available in full online here.

Haga clic aquí para ver el mensaje de esta semana en español de nuestro misionero latino, Luis Valencia. 

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP
Dear *|FNAME|*
Well, I had my first stress dream about reopening.

Everything went wrong—as often happens in stress dreams. People were so excited to be together that everyone was hugging and no one was wearing face masks. I tried to get people to stop, afraid we'd be forced to close again. Then the power went out and we were all plunged into darkness.

But we weren't totally. The light streamed through the stained glass windows, creating just enough light to be able to see one another. People slowly streamed into their household pews. We couldn't turn the organ on without electricity, so Nick just started singing the opening hymn. Everyone joined in and we sang a cappella, our community's voices filling our beloved space. On the second verse, it being a familiar hymn, several switched to parts.

It was glorious.

I was thinking about this dream while having my coffee this morning, about how it moved from chaos to harmony. And I had a realization, we moved to harmony when everyone started working together, when I didn't think I was the one to keep everything the way it needed to be.

This has been one of the most important lessons I have learned this past decade as your priest. When I think I have the answers, or that I need to fix something, I'm usually wrong. When I rely upon you as the parish community, when we all put our heads together to solve a problem, we always come up with a better solution. 

As the parish leadership and I have been working through our parish plan for re-entry, I think this is the key point. Working together, following the policies our leadership has set out, and being flexible when items change, are all essential for us to return to our worship space. Also, I'd note that our plan for re-entry is still a draft document, being regularly updated given your feedback. So, please do take a look and let me know any changes you might suggest before it is presented to the Vestry at their meeting on Monday, June 29. 

Your help in more ways that that remains essential, though. Here are some ways you can help us re-engage the parish campus safely:
  • Sign up for worship. – This is not only important for ensuring we don't exceed capacity and are able to do contact tracing. If the risk factor for our county goes above medium, we will cancel attendance at the liturgies on Sunday and only stream the 10am and 12:45pm with limited ministers. Signing up ensures we can reach out to you if we take this step. The sign-up sheets for Sunday, July 5, are online here: 8:30am Eucharist, 10:00am Eucharist, and 12:45pm Eucaristía
  • Join the Coronavirus Response Team – I am forming this Team to assist with two key tasks. This will be a group that we can contact when we need feedback on a plan or practice (e.g., looking at signage before we print and post). This will also be a group we can reach out to when we need volunteers for a pandemic related task (e.g., blocking off space in the Nave to ensure distancing). Signing up doesn't mean you will do anything, it just means you're willing to be alerted when these needs arise so you can respond as you are able. Contact me to join the team. 
  • Join a New Ministry – The most essential worship ministries going forward will be Readers, Altar Guild, and Digital Evangelism. Knowing that several ministers may not yet be able to come back, having more people serve in these ministries will be essential. If you would be interested in helping with the preparations for worship on the Altar Guild, reading Scripture at service, or being trained to run the streaming software for Digital Evangelism, please contact me.
  • Remain Flexible – As you know, data and information has been constantly shifting in this pandemic. Please know that all plans and schedules are tentative. If you want to know what is happening, our Parish Administrator, Cindi Sanders, will ensure that major changes are posted to the parish website. She will also ensure that the parish Google calendar always reflects the most accurate and up-to-date information. 
And please know, if attending on Sundays is something that makes you anxious, starting on Monday, July 6, I will be instituting daily offerings of worship in the Nave (Mondays at 5:30pm, Tuesdays at 9:00am, Wednesdays at Noon, and Thursdays at 4:00pm). 

Throughout this whole experience, your flexibility and continued support have been stunning. Whereas other churches have had infighting and staff layoffs, that has not been the case at St. John's. You have given helpful feedback as we worked together. You have been tremendously generous, some of you even increasing your giving because you knew others would have to cut back. 

You have been you. The people of St. John's. A group of people who are followers of Jesus, inspired through worship, and boldly loving ALL. This Sunday will mark ten years since my first day in the office as your rector and I couldn't be more grateful and humbled to serve in and among you.

Through Grace,

PS – I'm looking forward to my Introduction to the Hebrew Bible Class resuming this Sunday! Join me on Zoom at 11:30am! According to our current draft of the parish plan for re-entry this class will continue to be on Zoom only until July 20, at which point you can attend in-person or continue to participate through Zoom. 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, June 28, 2020 online here

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