We are all aware of the attention and concerns around the Covid-19 virus and the unfolding public health ramifications. Our first response is always to trust God during challenging times, and to pray for healing and protection for ourselves and our neighbors. Please pray for those who are sick, their caregivers, and those in quarantine or isolation. Give them comfort in this time of anxiety and uncertainty. Give us the strength and wisdom to weather this storm, and fill us with the peace that passes all understanding.
Out of an overabundance of caution, deep love and concern for the most vulnerable in our community (those over 60 and those with pre-existing health conditions), we are implementing a series of changes to our worship life together. These changes are effective immediately and are informed by consultations with medical, scientific, and church authorities here at Christ Church, nationally, and around the world. Your clergy team is directing all of us to follow the safe practices listed below in our worship and pastoral ministries in this parish.
If you or members of your family are sick, please stay home. If you need pastoral care, please notify the church by calling the front desk (904-285-7390)
A number of changes will take place during worship to minimize risks:
We are suspending in-person worship services at this time. We will livestream three services on Sunday.
Once In-person Services Resume
- The use of the common cup is discontinued until the crisis is abated. A chalice of wine will be consecrated and received by the celebrant as a symbol for all present.
- All others present will receive communion “in one kind” only, that is the bread of Christ. The Episcopal Church believes that the full grace of Holy Communion is conveyed in the bread alone.
- Communion will be received at stations rather than at the altar rail, to minimize the risk of contamination.
- The childrens’ talk during communion will be discontinued for the time being.
- Offertory plates or baskets will be placed near the entrance to the worship spaces. Please put your offering there as you enter or exit the church. This will minimize any risk from passing the plate.
- We are suspending the Eucharistic Visitor ministry at this time. This includes the gatherings to distribute Communion on Sunday at Atria and Vicars. Please call the church in pastoral emergency or end of life situations and clergy will bring the sacraments.
- For the time being, all services are still being held at their usual times and places. Please remember to share the peace by bowing, elbow bumping, etc., in lieu of shaking hands and hugging.
- For those who are feeling ill, self-quarantining, or otherwise avoiding large gatherings, our services will be live streamed on YouTube Live starting this Sunday, March 15. Look for a separate email with the details.
- We are taking extra precautions such as sanitizing the worship space twice a week and being careful in how wafers are handled in preparation for our services. As supplies allow, we will replenish the hand sanitizer dispensers located throughout our buildings.
Please stay alert to other messages from your church in the days ahead. Remember to pray and trust in God, and above all, remember that common sense practices such as covering your cough or sneezes and washing your hands often and thoroughly will significantly mitigate the spread of this and other diseases.
Yours In Christ,
Fr. Thomas P. Reeder
Fr. Remington Slone
Fr. Keith Oglesby
Fr. Andreis Diaz
Mtr. Wendy Billingslea
Bp. Ed Chalfant