On November 21st, 2021, we celebrated our patronal feast day, the Feast of Christ the King. This feast also marks the end of the liturgical year, which provided the Vestry with a good opportunity to reflect on the past year at Christ Church. These remarks were made by members of the current Vestry as part of both services that day. If you’d like to hear these words in context of the worship service, you can view it on our YouTube channel.
It’s great to be back in church together. We have not only worship and a full choir, but breakfasts and coffee hours again! We have Evensong services, and after the last one, a beautiful reception with tea in fine china! But the pandemic is not over. Right now, some of our members are battling Covid-19. So, thank you for continuing to wear your masks. Please, please fill out the attendance forms, in case we need to do contact tracing later. And if you’re feeling sick, please refrain from coming to church.
The pandemic has been hard on all of us. We know that. Rev. Emily and the Vestry recently reflected on how Christ Church responded to this crisis. As a result, we agreed on the following statement:
Throughout the pandemic, Christ Church’s Rector and Vestry have prioritized our congregation’s physical health and safety. We worked within limits set by civil authorities, our Bishop, and the reality of our beautiful but poorly ventilated sanctuary. Christ Church’s leadership also received input from the Property Use in Pandemic Committee and, via surveys, from the broader parish. Those surveys repeatedly showed that congregants were reluctant to return to in-person worship before it was physically safe to do so. Accordingly, the leadership’s decisions were designed to avoid our church becoming a super-spreader site – and, so far, we’re not aware of anyone contracting Covid-19 at Christ Church.
But we are painfully and humbly aware that there have been tradeoffs in our approach. For some congregants, the decision not to meet in person was detrimental to their spiritual and emotional health. Even now, we face tradeoffs. By returning to our sanctuary and dropping the online service before we can livestream, we’ve made our community less accessible for anyone who came to depend on the online service to join us in worship.
We do not wish to cause anyone pain or to cause them to stumble in their Christian journey. Moving forward, we will continue making decisions with humility, aware that we may not be able to serve everyone in all ways. Please pray for us as we weigh the tradeoffs inherent in our decisions.