Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
After much thought and prayer this week, and in consultation with your Vesty wardens, I have decided to cancel all church activities, including worship services, until further notice.
While we’re unable to meet together, I invite you to join us from your home at 11:15 a.m. on Sundays, as we livestream an Ante-Communion service. Ante-Communion—literally “before communion”—is the part of the service of the Holy Eucharist up to the Offertory that is used separately with a blessing when there is no Communion. More information about how to access the livestream follows at the end of this email.
The decision about whether our parish should continue to meet in person in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis sweeping across the globe, and now infiltrating our own country and communities, has not been an easy one. An email this afternoon from Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) solidified my decision. In that email, the College of Bishops asked ACNA congregations not to hold in-person worship services or gatherings until further notice. In addition, I received an email from the Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes making the same request.
“We serve a faithful and loving God, and He has called us to serve Him in challenging times,” the Archbishop said in his email. “… while many despair and are living in fear, we have hope and peace because in Jesus Christ we know how the story ends. This has not taken the Lord by surprise, and it gives us an incredible opportunity to live in faith toward God, in love toward our neighbors, and in service toward our communities.”
The decision to ask congregations to suspend meeting in person, Archbishop Beach said, was made in a desire to partner with our civic officials as they seek to exercise their duty to protect our communities. The President of the United States’ Coronavirus Team, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other governmental authorities are strongly advising that no public gatherings of 10 or more people be held.
“We realize these are extreme measures that we had hoped to avoid, but for the health and welfare of everyone in our churches and communities, this is something we all must put into practice immediately,” the Archbishop said.
During this time of remote worship, the expenses of operating the parish continue as usual. I ask you to join Judy and me in keeping your pledge current, either through online giving, or by mailing a check to the church at 7521 S. Old State Rd., Lewis Center, Ohio 43035.
Please continue to pray for all who are affected by this coronavirus outbreak, especially those who are infected and their families, and those for whom prevention measures may be creating an economic hardship. Pray also for our students, parents, and teachers as they seek to navigate the unexpected transition to online learning.
Be sure to watch your email, our website and our social media for updates, as well as resources to help you as you seek to keep a Holy Lent during these difficult days. If you have a cell phone, please make sure that number is on your profile on the Member Connection, as we may also be communicating news by text message.
While I’ll greatly miss not seeing all of you in church, you’ll see me this Sunday at 11:15 a.m. live on YouTube! Please continue to keep in touch with one another through our Member Connection, by email or phone, and contact me at 740-548-5112, ext. 2 or email@example.com, or one of our other clergy (their contact information is on our Member Connection), if you have any pastoral needs.
My prayer is that together we’ll weather this storm, and come through it stronger in our faith—and in love for one another—than ever.
In Christ’s holy name,
Fr. Ron Baird +
How to watch us live on Sunday
Click here, or search for us by “SAC Tech” on your YouTube app on any of your devices at 11:15 a.m. You may also view the service at any time afterward.
Other helpful links
Member Connection Login If you don’t yet have a login, click on “Register.” If you need to re-set your password, click on “Forgot Password?”