Dear Friends in Christ,
We will continue our pattern of worship this Sunday, July 26th with in-person worship at 8:00 am and 10:30 am which will also be simultaneously available on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/staugmet
Benjamin Sanchez will lead worship in Spanish at 9:30 am on the same facebook page.
I share with you the hunger for Holy Eucharist; for Communion, community, and connection. However, given the increase in both cases and hospitalizations in our area, it does not seem like the right time to begin returning to normal.
May God guide you and your families in making good choices about how best to attend church. And thanks be to God the technology that allows us to gather and worship virtually, and for our volunteers--especially Jeremiah and Kate Smith--who continue to make this technology accessible for all.
WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY, JULY 26th
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 - 721916308
10:30 AM - 247620924
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.
Thanks for those helping with our worship this week:
8:00 am 10:30 am
Lay Reader: Ronald Coats Kathy Chiles
Usher: TBD Sharon Flemming
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).
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. Please be on the lookout for a call from Dee Smith.
Bissonet Plaza Back to School Project
Our partners in mission, Bissonet Plaza Elementary School, have requested a
few supplies as they prepare for the 2020 school year. Please go to this link to sign up.
Please deliver your purchases to church by August 9th. If you have questions
or need assistance with purchases or delivery please call Susan Scotton 504-258-6648
Blessing of the Backpacks
On Sunday, August 9th, we will ask God's blessing upon our kids' backpacks. By doing so we are seeking God's guidance and presence over the entirety of this coming school year. It is an entrusting of our students, parents, teachers and staff to God's care. It is more important than ever.
Please participate in whatever way feels right and safest for you and your family. In addition to the in-person services at 8:00 and 10:30 am, you can also watch live at www.facebook.com/staugmet.
Whether live or at-home, teachers and students will have the opportunity to lift their backpacks and other school supplies in order to ask God's blessing upon this entire effort. I look forward to beginning another year with you...and with God's blessing.
Back to Adult Christian Formation; Back to the Basics
On Sunday, August 9th we will return to Adult Christian Education albeit in a different way. The plan is to gather virtually in a Zoom meeting from 9:15 to 10:00 am. The link will be sent out as we get closer to the date. The topic for August 9th, 16th, and 23rd will be Episcopal Church 101. This introduction into faith and "way" of being church is intended as a refresher for some, a preparation for those to be Confirmed, or an introduction for those who are curious. All are welcome!