We want to thank all of you who took time to take the survey a couple weeks ago about your thoughts and feelings about our worship life at this point in the pandemic, and the potential use of our sanctuary following the bishop’s update to the diocesan COVID-19 directive that went into effect on October 11th.
We are truly grateful for your participation, and your insights help to inform our next steps.
As you will see in this printable PDF, our congregation characteristically represents a rich diversity of voices, yet overall it respects the caution that this pandemic requires and appreciates the quality of the online worship experiences. Your responses — in conjunction with current COVID-19 conditions, parish safety protocols, and the physical structures of our buildings — support the continued limited use of our sanctuary for brief, occasional, pastoral visits with significantly restricted attendance. Throughout, we desire to embrace every opportunity to nourish our relationships with God and one another.
A few words about methodology. In order to reach as many active members as possible, we sent invitations to participate in the survey via the church email list and also made phone calls to those who prefer that form of communication. The survey was open from October 1st through October 10th. During those ten days, 99 individuals responded, which represents about 55 percent of our active membership and slightly fewer than the 109 individuals who responded to a similar survey in July.
So, after thoughtful discussion with the vestry and staff, we will be taking the following steps:
- The weekly services of Tuesday Morning Prayer and Wednesday Evening Prayer will continue through November 4th. The default location will continue to be outside on the Woodbridge Avenue Lawn, however if the weather does not cooperate, they will move inside the sanctuary. If inside, the services will be abridged to 15-20 minutes.
- On Tuesday, November 3rd, and Wednesday, November 4th, the services will be called Prayer for Our Nation, and will incorporate special prayers for our civic and national well-being. Since it will be getting darker earlier outside, the service on Wednesday, November 4th, will be held at 5:00pm rather than 6:00pm.
- For the rest of November, the weekly services of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer will be on pause, which will allow our teams to devote more energy to the festivities of Christ the King weekend (November 21 & 22) and the beginning of Advent (November 29).
- We anticipate resuming weekday prayer during Advent, and its format will depend on the conditions at that time.
All Saints’ Day and Eucharist
The Feast of All Saints (November 1) is a special time in the life of our congregation, as we remember all those who have gone before us and who now feast at the heavenly banquet, of which communion is a foretaste.
- On Saturday, October 31st from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 1st from 2:00-4:00 p.m., you are invited to enter the sanctuary to visit the columbarium, remember loved ones, light candles, enjoy flowers arranged by Richard Thomas, and receive communion in one kind, i.e., the host. Please register in advance here – https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050b4ca5a72ca1fc1-allsaints
- The consecrated hosts will be distributed with minimal touch. If you do not wish to receive physically, you are welcome to receive a no-touch blessing and prayer, assuring you that you receive all of the benefits of communion while unable to receive physically.
- Members of the clergy are available to visit you at your home (on your porch or yard) to bring you communion and offer you a personal blessing. If you wish for a clergy member to visit you, please sign up here – https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4bafaa22a6f9c34-home
- On Sunday, November 1st, the Worship at Home video will include the Eucharistic Prayer, the consecration of bread and wine, and prayers for spiritual communion, such as what we have been praying regularly on Sundays. It is understood that if you opt to receive communion physically, you also will watch the video service, as they are two parts of the same whole.
The Feast of Christ the King
This feast of Christ, who rules and reigns over all, is an important one for us at Christ’s Church! It also marks the end of the church year, before Advent begins. Look out soon for information about drive-up festivities and the J2A Greens Sale on November 21-22.
We thank you for your continued contributions and prayers, your flexibility and your creativity, and above all your faith and your care for one another. Together, with God’s help, Christ Church Detroit is a beacon of hope, especially in these troubling, turbulent times.
As always, please continue to provide your feedback at any time to our rector Emily Williams Guffey or senior warden Lisa C. Jones.
The Property Use in Pandemic (PUP) Committee:
The Rev. Anthony Estes
The Rev. Emily Williams Guffey
Lisa C. Jones