March 15, 2020
The Family Game Night scheduled for this evening, Friday, March 13, has been postponed to May. Given the sharing of playing pieces and cards that are part of playing games, it seemed prudent to postpone this gathering. We've pencilled it in for Friday, May 15. Our Looking Ahead Group has similarly decided against meeting for lunch this Tuesday..
At this moment, we are proceeding with worship and other parish events with caution. Thanks to everyone for your good humor and understanding with the changes to our customary worship practices: Nods, extra big smiles, and elbow bumps instead of hugs or shaking hands; and receiving only the Eucharistic Bread at the altar. I realize that our Bishops' prohibition on intincting one's communion wafer (i.e. touching the wafer to the wine) seems counter-intuitive, but they're following clear scientific evidence.
In worship, we have plenty of room to maintain "appropriate social distance," and we don't typically exceed the State's advice against gatherings of over 100 people. In fellowship, we also have plenty of room, and a pressurized sanitizer for cups, plates, and flatware.
The Episcopal Church in Connecticut has cancelled or postponed gatherings that would bring large numbers of folks together from across the Diocese. The Commons staff has created a page for Covid-19 Updates with links to the most recent messages from our Bishops and the Presiding Bishop. You can find it here. I especially commend to you the March 10 message of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry -- including the moving prayer with which he concludes.
I trust you are taking the precautions in the News: frequent and thorough handwashing, (I'm singing "Jesus love me ...") covering nose and mouth with tissues or elbow when coughing or sneezing; staying home if ill, minimizing casual contact (shaking hands, hugging), etc. I also encourage you to take seriously the cautions about limiting your exposure if you are among those considered vulnerable due to age and/or health conditions.
Please join me in welcoming Ms. Donna Tafel to our Parish Office. Donna has agreed to take on the challenge of serving as our new Parish Administrator! Donna is just the cheerful, organized and skilled person to fulfill this important role in our parish life. For ten years, Donna served as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, and previously served in administrative roles with national accounting firms. Donna lives in Guilford.
When Donna begins this Tuesday, March 17, our Office Hours will move to Tuesday to Thursday, 10a.m. to 3p.m. This reflects the Vestry's decision to try a 16-hour work week for the Parish Administrator as discussed at the Annual Parish Meeting. (Bulletin folding will continue to happen on Friday.) The Parish Administrator's email address will continue to be firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even with her skills and organization, please don't expect Donna to be able to answer all your questions on from the first day!
Thanks to all who are participating in our ECW's Lenten Service Project! We're being provided with gallon zip-lock bags and shopping lists, and then invited to fill the bags with travel-size personal hygiene items. The ECW's initial goal was to receive the bags by this Sunday; however, they will be gratefully received when ready.
We're continuing our Lenten conversations about African American Bishop Barbara Harris's life and witness, and our study of Paul's Letter to the Romans. Copies of the Bishop's memoir Hallelujah, Anyhow! are arriving, and it is available on Kindle; she covers in brief some of the same material in a video interview -- so we can hear her tell her stories in her own voice. Although Paul didn't leave an "Audible" voice recording of his letter to the Romans, our Bible study helps us hear his concerns about the one-ness of the God of all peoples, and the one-ness of all peoples before God. Feel free to join these conversations!
In faith and hope,
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!