Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 7/11/21

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Dear Members and Friends of St. James,

As I listen to a CD recording of the Psalms of David by the choir of Kings College Cambridge, I am pleased to share with you the homily which I delivered just hours ago to our in-person congregation.  As one might anticipate, there are always items of interest, etc., for discussion.  Our senior warden assures us that those contractual building matters that must be attended to, even during slow summer months, are receiving our attention.  Our junior warden posed the questions, whether we have arrived at a point in the state reported level of vaccinations, that we may consider removing the signs in the sanctuary that reflect, visually, the restrictions/condition, under which we continue to worship.

In our brief conversation, the consensus is that no change would be made in our interior signage, because we wish to ensure newcomers, old timers, and visitors alike that we take seriously our commitment to offer, as much as possible, an environment that is safe for all who worship with us.  We reminded ourselves that two new strains of the Covid-19 virus has made its appearance in areas of our country, which demands our diligence.  Therefore:

  • We continue to employ natural and electronic ventilation.
  • We continue to mask, especially when we sing.  New masks are available to anyone who comes without one.  Hand sanitizers are likewise available.
  • We exchange The Peace with a nod, a bow, or a wave. 
  • We maintain an acceptable distance when we come forward to receive communion.
  • We continue to administer and receive communion in one kind only, namely in the bread.

I reiterate our efforts here, especially for those who cannot join us for in-person liturgy.  The health of individual members, as well as of the congregation in the aggregate is a priority for our vestry and for me.  We wish you a continued safe journey through summer.  Let us not forsake to pray for those who seek means of cure and prevention of diseases, as well as for those who care for and minister to the infirmed.

The Collect for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost:
O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

May the peace of God, that passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be with you, and remain with you and those whom  you love, this day and forever more.  Amen.

You fellow traveler in The Way,