It seems COVID is showing up everywhere. I know of more and more homes where at least one person has tested positive for COVID, is showing symptoms, or has even been hospitalized.
Our COVID fatigue is real. I didn’t take Greek in seminary, and I’m not too happy about learning the Greek alphabet via COVID. The omicron surge is so fast and widespread (and likely underreported) that we’re just emotionally exhausted. The sheer numbers of people infected simultaneously have led to record-setting hospitalizations across the country, and they haven’t peaked yet in many areas.
There are challenges as we learn more about this virus and how to live with it. COVID is with us to stay. The expectation that COVID-19 will become endemic means the pandemic will not end with the virus disappearing. Instead, experts hope enough people will gain immune protection from vaccination and natural infection so there will be less transmission and many fewer COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths.
All friendships, including our friendships at church, have a significant impact on our sense of well-being. Separation from our friends has been challenging, but there is Good News this week. Given an overall downward trend in the average number of cases in Shenandoah County, we will resume in-person worship on Sunday, January 30.
To reduce risk to all, masks will continue to be required in worship. Please keep at least six feet of distance between you and other worshipers and let people in other pews receive the elements and return to their seats before coming forward to receive Holy Communion.
Over the years, through friendship and shared ministry, Beckford Parish has been an important part of the Shenandoah County community. As we move into the next part of our shared life, we have some discernment ahead of us. What kind of church do we want to be? What kinds of things do we want to do? How do we want the community to see us? Most importantly, how will we be faithful witnesses to God?
I am reminded of the ending of a nighttime prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book.
The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
In your name we pray. Amen.
A new day, new joys, new possibilities. May it be so.
ANNUAL MEETINGS: EMMANUEL THIS SUNDAY
Emmanuel’s Annual Meeting is this Sunday, Jan. 30, at 12:30 p.m. (immediately following the 11:15 a.m. service). The Annual Report will be available on our website prior to the meeting. Printed copies will be available at the meeting.
St. Andrew’s Annual Meeting is Sunday, Feb. 6. Time is TBD. The Annual Report will be available on our website prior to the meeting.
If you have any questions, please speak with Mother Kathy.
SERVICE SCHEDULE FEBRUARY THROUGH MAY NOW AVAILABLE
The new service schedule is now available via the blue button at the end of this email and on our website. If you aren’t able to serve as scheduled, please find a replacement and let Mother Kathy and Melissa know if the switch.
FOOD PANTRY DONATIONS AT ST. ANDREW’S
As a reminder, there is a basket in the parish hall to collect donation for the Open Door Food Pantry in Mt. Jackson. If you have any nonperishables, please drop them off for Jackie Yarnell to take over to the pantry.
BIBLE STUDY WEDNESDAY
The Bible study group with the Episcopal churches in our region has started after summer break. It is from 7 to 8 p.m. online via Zoom. every Wednesday. You’re welcome to attend even if you haven’t before or if you miss a few weeks. You can jump in any Wednesday without any problem. If you have any questions, please let Mother Kathy know.
EMMANUEL’S TABLE FOOD PANTRY
The pantry is open the second and fourth Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The February dates are the 8th and 22nd. In case of inclement weather, if SCPS close we do as well. We always welcome new volunteers.
Our prayer list can be found on our website. If you have folks you’d like added to the prayer list, please email their names to Melissa.
The directory is available on our website. To access the file, you’ll need a password so please email Melissa for it. (You don’t have to sign up for a DropBox account to access the file. If a window pops up asking if you want to sign up for one, you can close that out to continue to the file.)
SOCIAL DISTANCING AND MASK POLICY
Please see our website for the current information.
Sunday through Thursday, 8 p.m. Compline on Facebook Live and Zoom
WEDNESDAY HEALING EUCHARIST
12 p.m. at Emmanuel
8 a.m. Emmanuel
9:15 a.m. St. Andrew’s and Facebook Live (as technology permits)
11:15 a.m. Emmanuel and Facebook Live (as technology permits)
The full bulletin is available on our website.
All weekly and Sunday services are available to view on Facebook and our website after the services, when available.