We are all very aware that large and important institutions in Bryan/College Station such asTexas A&M University are postponing classes and/or moving them online in response to the COVID-19, “corona virus.” By doing so the goal of local and state officials is to flatten the curve of the virus so as to ensure the greatest number of beds for those who are sick. While Texas may have approximately 34 people with the COVID-19 virus today, some of whom are in Montgomery County, over the last 7 days those 34 people shared the virus with other people, and the multiples of sharing that virus are in the range of 1,671,168 potential cases.
Given all of this and the cancellations or postponements of other events and activities throughout the state it is Bishop Doyle’s Godly counsel that we refrain from gathering for worship and in large groups at our churches at this time. He did not make this decision lightly, but in prayer and in consultation with public and medical officials.
I am asking the members of Saint Andrew’s to stay home the next two Sundays and as you are able I invite you to worship with Saint Andrew’s from home. Using our camera and recording system we will record a service of the Holy Eucharist and post it on Facebook at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. We are currently working to have it posted on YouTube as well.
Only events with 10 or less people will be allowed to meet next week which means most events including the Lenten supper, choir practices, and the Men’s Breakfast will be postponed to the following week. If you are not sure if an event is occurring please contact the church office at 822-5176
During this time it is important to remember that the church is a people and not a place, and that God can be worshiped in a variety of ways. We can gather in groups of 10 or smaller, pray online, or in a home with our neighbors. I will be working with the vestry and staff on plans for this kind of worship if this situation persists beyond the next two Sundays.
By curtailing our activities we are not attempting to stop the spread of the virus, but are attempting to slow the spread down to a level so our health systems may be at their best and provide rooms and ventilators for those that need them.
This is an entirely new situation and one I have not experienced in 17 years of ordained ministry. So please bear with me, the staff, and lay leaders as we make the necessary adjustments. Please also pray for our medical and public officials, as well as those who are infected and sick, and those who care for them.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me about this at email@example.com.