In case you missed it, Bishop Thompson sent out a letter on Monday, April 27, 2020 extending the current state of affairs for churches in the Diocese until May 15, 2020. A copy of the letter is at the bottom of this email.
This means that for at least Sunday, May 3rd and May 10th, we will continue our Sunday offering of Morning Prayer on our Facebook page at 8:00 am (live) and then the recording will be available throughout the day. Our Spanish service will begin at 9:30 am (live) and then will also be available throughout the day.
It is important that we manage our expectations. That is to say, please be careful to note that no decisions have been made regarding our communal worship on May 17th, yet. The word "yet" is powerful. It brings hope and gives us some sense of empowerment, even in the midst of what feels like a lack of agency and power. We are not YET sure when we will be back. We are not YET clear about what being back will look like. Not yet. But we will in God's perfect timing.
As our preschoolers sing so joyfully, "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice in be glad in it." Through God's abundant goodness and faithfulness we can be sure that there is still more yet to come.
Virtual Concert in the Courtyard
Tune in to the St. Augustine's Facebook page this Friday at 6:30pm for some songs that'll bring a smile to your face and some good memories to your heart. Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/staugmet
The latest meditation from Presiding Bishop Curry
Call in for Sunday's Service
If you or someone you know does not have access to internet, they can listen to Sunday's service over their phone by using this access code: 785302080. The phone number to call is: 1-888-958-7272
Forward day by Day
Copies of the most recent "Forward Day by Day" have been placed in the bin by the gates at the parking lot side of campus. Please help yourself, but like my grandmother used to say at the "all-you-can-eat buffet: "take all you want, but need all you take."
Updating the Parish Database
Perhaps you've been wanting a parish telephone directory? Or wondering how you could get a phone number for a parishioner you miss seeing on Sundays? Or maybe you have some extra time on your hands and this would be the perfect time to update your information so that we can publish a directory at some point with up-to-date information? If so, click on this link and register and then update your information. If you've already registered but forgot your password, you can ask them to set up a new one. Or, email Jamee at firstname.lastname@example.org with your updated information. If we all take the time to register and update our information though, we'll all be able to contact one another.
Update on COVID-19 Guidelines: Virtual Church Gatherings Extended Until the 15th of May
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
I write you in the spirit of the quarantine. Our time away from each other has been way too long. I have missed seeing you in person.
About a month ago we announced a self-quarantine to last until the end of April. We took this action with the encouragement of the governor and the mayor of New Orleans. Since that announcement the mayor has extended the quarantine until the middle of May. The governor has yet to announce any change in his original declaration, although that may change. The quarantine seems to be working, this is, the curve is flattening but not completely. We still have work to do for the safety of the whole community. I am, therefore, extending our virtual church gatherings until the 15th of May at which time I will reexamine the progress and listen to the health care advocates as to when we might be able to reengage our church activities and what that might look like. In the meantime, our office staff is working on guidelines that will help us when the restrictions are eased. We should have these available in the next 10 days.
I realize this news may not be what you were hoping to hear. The stress of staying home with limited communal engagement has not been easy, but we have endured and for that I am grateful. Let's continue to pray for one another and the world.
May God grant us the strength and wisdom to live the Way in Love.
I am as always,
Your servant in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr.
Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana