As we move through the summer months and aim for a reopening of in-person services at the Church in September, the leadership of St John’s have come up with some ideas of how we might slowly move toward that goal. We are also aware that some of our parishioners do not have social media and some that do are feeling alone and isolated. I think I can also say that most of us just miss being at Church and miss seeing each other. Given all this, we have come up with three ideas for now that we hope some of you will find helpful and fun.
The first idea is to have just a few people to be a part of our Church Service recording. We record the Sunday Service on Friday at 11:00am. We confidently feel it would be safe to have up to three people sitting in the back pews, far apart from each other, to watch us record the service.
I should say that we just record the spoken part of the service. The Choir records the music separately on a different day because of the challenges with social distancing and singing. You would also not be able to use the washroom, unless it was an emergency. However, it would be great to see you and fun to watch us record – and while it would be at a distance we can still talk to each other!
The next recording will be Friday, June 5. If you would like to be a part of our ‘studio audience’, please phone Leeann at the office and make a reservation. As I say we can only accommodate three and it will be, for now, a first come first serve reservation.
The second idea is a new kind of ministry. We would like to start a team who would be interested in in-person visitations, but at a fair distance from each other. Here is how it would work. Let’s say John Doe lives alone and would like to talk to someone in-person from the Church. John D. would phone the office and we would arrange a date and time for a visit. We would also arrange how this visit might be done at a very safe distance.
For example: John D. could be on his apartment balcony and our visitor standing on the sidewalk. John D. could be at his window in his house or inside the lobby of his building and our visitor out front. Or, John D. and his visitor could meet in a park but always keeping more than a safe distance from each other. If you think you would like to volunteer as a visitor, please do let me know.
If you think you would like to be visited in this way, please email or call Leeann at the office to arrange a visit. We are also looking for a good name for this new ministry. Do you have any ideas? If you do, please let me know.
The third idea we are working on and currently fine tuning would be one or more outdoor services in our parking lot. It could be a Sunday or another day and you could just bring your car if you like and stay in it. Or you could bring a lawn chair and sit in that.
It would be a service of the word, meaning we would have readings, prayers, perhaps a sermon, but we would not be able to do a Eucharist. We would of course practice very rigorous social distancing, but we would be together and able to see each other.
As I mention we are still working on the details of this, so if you have any suggestions or comments or concerns once again, please do let me know. As always, if you would like to call me for any reason, please do so without hesitation. I look forward to hearing back from you on these new initiatives.
Be courageous, be strong, be safe, and please know we will get through this together.
May God’s love and joy and light be with you all.
Peace, The Reverend Patrick Blaney