Sept. 23, 2020
As I wrote in a memo to congregational leaders yesterday, it is obvious that the pandemic is going to remain a central part of our lives for some time to come, and its impact will vary from location to location. In response to questions about how we proceed, and after seeing the steps various churches are taking in order to meet for classes and worship, I have published some new recommendations on in-person meetings of any size and for any purpose. Basically, the recommendations list more safe versus less safe conditions, and ask you to consider whether or not you are ready to meet, based on the infection rate in your area and your ability to do so safely. As we hear from health authorities, face coverings and social distancing are essential. Should you wish to include the Eucharist in your worship, the policy remains that only consecrated Bread will be distributed.
I continue to travel to congregations for worship where the infection rate is relatively low. Whether or not you are able to meet in person, I ask that you continue to remain connected with one another. It is good for our own emotional health, and it means a great deal to people who are suffering or afraid. If there has ever been a time when the church is needed to help others, it is now. This sort of connection is ultimately where the church can be truly evangelical and share good news through action with people who hunger for it.