Monday, November 2, 2020

Flexibility and Virtual Christmas Services

As we approach our regathering, let’s be like Gumby:  Flexible!

Dear friends,

The Covid-19 pandemic has created havoc in our lives in many different ways.  The world over, people have had to modify all kinds of plans and adapt to ever-changing situations.  That’s certainly been true for us at St. Andrew’s over the past months, and I anticipate that it will hold true for many months to come.

As we lay plans for our November 29 regathering, I ask each of you to take to heart the need for us all to be flexible in our interactions and also, as always, to be kind to one another. 

In a recent meeting, our staff talked about what a fluid time this is, with new information coming out daily.  Led by our Health and Safety Officer Joel Duregger, our parish staff and leaders are working hard to prepare for the regathering by ensuring that all necessary protocols are in place.  We are also incorporating into our plans all new diocesan guidance as we receive it. 

One happy piece of new guidance is that a few choir members, wearing special masks, will be allowed to sing during our worship service.  What a blessing that will be!  (Please note that for safety reasons, congregational singing is still prohibited.) 

There will doubtless be more changes to our plans as the days go by.  One of my favorite lines in the BCP is this petition from a Compline collect:  “…that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness” (pg 133). Yes indeed.  May we rest in God’s eternal changelessness, and may we be as flexible as Gumby!

Special Virtual Christmas Services

After much thought and prayer, I have decided that our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services this year will be virtual, rather than in-person.  Even though we will have regathered for worship by then, the protocols don’t allow for anywhere near enough seating for the number of people who usually come.  There is no perfect solution, but doing the services virtually allows for the most people to participate.

Our wonderful staff and I are already hard at work planning three very special services to help us celebrate Jesus’ birth:

  • A Children’s Christmas Eve Service, complete with special music from Brad; cameos by some of our parish children; a retelling of the Christmas story using beloved creche sets; and a child-friendly liturgy.
  • A Traditional Festive Christmas Eve Service, making use of our rich Book of Common Prayer liturgy and beautiful music from Brad and other musicians.
  • A Simple Christmas Day Liturgy, straight from the Prayer Book.

You will definitely hear more about these special services in coming days, but I wanted to let you know as soon as possible that our Christmas services will be virtual.  This also gives our musicians, flower guild, and altar guild time to make and implement plans to add their beautiful gifts to our worship.

 --- Anne

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