Dear Friends in Christ,
We had hoped that we could resume our celebration of Holy Eucharist this Sunday, July 19th. Unfortunately, given the resurgence in COVID-19 cases and the corresponding rise in hospitalizations, this does not seem like a prudent course of action. Our worship schedule will continue as it has for the past few Sundays with both live and "virtual" services at 8:00 am, 9:30 am, and 10:30 am. Please see below for more details.
I understand how hungry many of you are for both Holy Communion and blessed community. I share that hunger. Nevertheless, I also want to do our part to keep ourselves and our community as safe as possible. This is sacrificial giving: foregoing something good for something better. I pray that in our hunger we turn ever more deeply to the only One who can truly meet all of our needs.
Peace be with you,
WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY, JULY 19th
There are several options for worshiping together on Sunday, July 5th:
1. Go to the St. Augustine's Facebook (www.facebook.com) and search St. Augustine's) at either 8:00 am, 9:30 am(Espanol), or 10:30am. The services at those times will be "live."
2. If you don't have access to the internet, you can dial in and listen live at those times by dialing (888)958-7272 and then entering one of these access codes (you can only listen while the service is "live"):
8:00 AM - 967592316
10:30 AM - 550133462
3. Go to the St. Augustine's Facebook (www.facebook.com and search St. Augustine's) at any time and watch the recorded services.
These options are particularly appropriate for individuals 65 years or older and people of all ages with poor control of medical issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, or a weakened immune system. (Or those who have gotten accustomed to church in their pajamas!)
4. Come to St. Augustine's for in-person, indoor worship at 8:00 am, or 10:30 am.
If you decide to come, here's an idea of what to do and what to expect:
- The liturgy will be similar to the past few weeks, that is to say we will not celebrate Holy Eucharist.
- You'll need to wear a mask. If you don't have one, we will give you one.
- You will be "checked in" so that we can have a roster of attendance should contact tracing be necessary later. The "check-in" will take place by the fountain in the gatehouse.
- We will skip a pew between congregants and ask people to maintain six feet of distance between family groups.
- If we run out of pew space, Byrd Hall will be set up as an overflow area to watch on Facebook Live.
- Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the church.
- You will need to print and bring the bulletin and/or your personal Book of Common Prayer. Printed bulletins will not be provided and all books have been removed from the pews.
- We will not "pass the plate," but the offertory plates will be set out for your donations.
- The church will be disinfected between services. This will be possible in part because Darlene Fisher, our Housekeeper, has agreed to adjust her hours to work on Sundays. She'll be assisted by members of the Altar Guild and Vestry.
- Chase will play and sing from the choir loft.
- We will not provide any shared food or beverages after the services.
- The Nursery will not be open.
Virtual Coffee Hour
We will continue hosting "Coffee Half Hour" at 9:00 am (a bit later to allow time for people attending the 8:00 service to get home).
Addictions Recovery Retreat - August 7th - 9th
The Addictions Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana has announced the dates for the annual weekend gathering for men and womenwho are in, or want to be in, recovery. The theme of the weekend is "Restlessness." For more information and to register, go to: http://www.seccla.org
Notice of the Annual Parish Meeting - Sunday, August 2nd
The parish charter of St. Augustine's calls for an annual meeting of the parish to take place on the third Sunday in April, or, if that should fall on Easter, the following Sunday. The coronavirus changed all that. The Vestry has agreed to a new date for the Annual Meeting. It will be on Sunday, August 2nd, from 9:30 am to 10:00 am. The meeting will be conducted via the Zoom meeting platform, hence the abbreviated time allotment. The information for the Zoom meeting will be sent in the coming weeks.
Database Update Efforts
Our ability to communicate with each other when we are not able to gather in person has become more important than ever. It has also become clear that our database is in desperate need of updating. Fortunately, we are also slightly more accessible since many of us are staying and/or working from home. Therefore, the Vestry has decided to accept Dee Smith's generous offer to use her skills to contact each family unit to gather mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth. If you would like to send that information in rather than receiving a telephone call from Dee, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, please be on the lookout for a call from Dee Smith.