March 31, 2020 A Pastoral Letter from Father Michael
Dear Christ Church Family & Friends
Greetings! On behalf of our dedicated staff at Christ Church – I want you to know that we continue to lift you and your loved ones in our daily thoughts and prayers. Asking the Lord to protect you in this difficult and uncertain time.
The ever-growing reality is: “We are all experiencing a unique and unprecedented time in the history of our world, our nation, and our community.” It is critical that we all find new ways to stay connected and support one another. It is a time for all believers to exercise great faith in and to completely rely on the Lord – placing our complete trust in him.
The purpose of my message today is to share our updated responses to the CORVID-19 pandemic. I also wish to highlight the many new ways and opportunities that we have now to care and support one another as we live into this new reality until it is over.
Please know that our church’s staff, Vestry, leaders and the Bishop are in regular contact with the most current medical and governmental information.
The bottom line is we need to make dramatic changes, as we anticipate that the government and our Bishop will soon impose more restrictions. We at Christ Church choose to be proactive versus reactive in our approach.
Steps We Have Since Implemented:
1. We have suspended all activities at the church to include church, day school, and outside group gatherings. However, the work and mission of the church continues.
2. We have encouraged all people over 65 to stay home. The bishop has restricted all clergy over 65 from ministry outside their homes. In our case, this means the following: Christie Tugend (our parish administrator), Tom Morelli (Deacon), Geoff Graham (Organist), Paul Laedlein (Senior Warden), and me.
3. The CCDS campus is closed until further notice. However, the staff and teachers are continuing to meet the new demands. CCDS started Distance Learning on March 18 and has a plan to continue this going forward. The staff is engaging in live and recorded lessons and all students have been provided materials for their success. CCDS will continue this Distance Learning until all it is safe to return, and are looking at ways to celebrate the end of the school year remotely if necessary.
4. All Christian Formation (e.g. children/youth) classes are currently offered by Chaplain Charlette via Zoom.
5. We have suspended all in-person pastoral visits. The old school telephone is working well.
6. Speaking of telephones, we have put together the Christ Church Telephone Treedivided into Teams that will keep in contact with all parishioners, CCDS teachers and parents.
7. We will be worshiping online until further notice. See schedule of worship opportunities (e.g. Sunday and Weekday) in the upcoming e-Communicator.
8. There will be no celebrations of life (funerals, memorial services, weddings or baptisms) until further notice.
9. We will livestream special services during Holy Week (e.g. Passion Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday).
10. We will be joining all the churches in our Diocese for a diocesan-wide celebration of Easter on Sunday, April 12th. More about the Easter celebration as we have information.
11. We will plan A WONDERFUL EASTER CELEBRATION IN PERSON AND IN OUR CHURCH after this is ALL OVER!
12. Rest assured that your church staff is working very hard. Many of you have asked, how can I helpStay in contact with members of your church family.
a. Call your family, friends, and neighbors.
b. Set up a Zoom meeting with your ministry teams, and just chat and pray. We can help you with this. The church has an upgraded Zoom account that can be used for this or you can download a free version for yourself.
c. Continue to pray.
d. Make an extra donation.
- As you are able, please know that we rely on your online giving and/or mailing in your offerings and pledges.If you feel called to make any additional offerings, please know that they are needed and greatly appreciated. Here is the donate link on our church’s website: (Add link)
- Call or text Father Michael or Deacon Tom anytime for support and prayers. We are here for you.
As I stated at the beginning of this letter, this is an unprecedented time. However, despite the chaos, confusion, and the many “unknown” – I am thankful for the faithfulness of our parish community and I am blessed and honored to walk with you during this difficult hour as we all strive to model Christ to the world.
In His Service,
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)