Dear Emmanuel and St. Andrew’s family,
As we are adjusting to a new situation, I wanted to provide you with a message to let you know what to expect for the foreseeable future.
Regular email updates are going out as new information becomes available. As I mentioned last week, the wardens, vestry, Melissa and I are in close contact to make sure the parish is cared for during this difficult time. At the end of each week, you’ll get a summary email of all communications that have gone out that week, along with the current prayer list.
Updates are also shared on our website, including on a new page that is a repository of all communications from our parish, Diocese and locally that impact us. Please be patient as Melissa is doing her best to set up and keep this page updated as quickly as possible.
Staying in Contact with One Another
While we must practice social distancing and avoid being together physically, it is important that we stay in touch and provide support. Expect to receive phone calls from myself, senior wardens and other designated parishioners on a regular basis. We’ll be checking in with everyone to make sure they are doing well and to see if anything is needed. Please check the parish directory and email Melissa if your phone number is listed incorrectly. We’ve found several that are disconnected.
Please know that we are all here to support one another. I encourage you to reach out to myself, the wardens, Melissa and one another. The directory is available on our website, the password can be obtained from Melissa. Give one another a call or send an email to stay connected.
Please avoid sharing hearsay. Instead, refer to parish communications for accurate information.
Along with regular phone calls, we have several parishioners who are able and willing to do light shopping for those who may be home bound, in quarantine or otherwise unable to go out at this time. It is important to practice social distancing even then, so all items would be dropped off outside the door, on the porch, etc., to avoid contact closer than 6 feet away. If you are in need of a shopper, please email me or Melissa.
If you have a pastoral emergency, please call or text my cell phone. If I do not respond in a short period, please call one of the Wardens and/or email Melissa.
Join me on Facebook Live tonight for Compline at 8:30 p.m. I am also looking into ways to worship together virtually via Zoom and Facebook Live. Right now, there is no further direction from the Diocese on when physical worship is to resume. Clergy is scheduled to meet with the Bishops via Zoom tomorrow. I will share updates after that meeting.
Please continue to make your pledges by either mailing them to the churches or going online to a service set up by the Diocese. Make sure to include the church’s name and location in the memo line. Your help in ensuring the churches are able to continue operation is greatly appreciated and necessary.
The note at the end of this email is being shared on Facebook and our website today, along with being handed out to pantry visitors tomorrow. It should answer all questions regarding how we are moving forward with this ministry for now.
Please continue to pray for one another during this time. We are facing something none of us has before experienced, but we are a loving, supportive parish and will make it through together.
GOOD MORNING AND WELCOME TO EMMANUEL’S TABLE
NEW Food Pickup Procedures at Emmanuel’s Table Food Pantry
- Remain in your vehicle. A volunteer will approach you (no closer than 6 feet away) and record the information you usually provide on the yellow sign in sheet. (Name, contact information, number and ages of your family members.)
- We are unable to offer the selection list. Instead, you will receive a pre-bagged order according to your family size. Please do not ask for trades or return unwanted items. (Maybe you’ll learn to like peas and beets!!)
- A volunteer will deliver the groceries to the rear, outside of your vehicle after which time you may exit your vehicle and retrieve the order. Stow your bags, re-enter your vehicle and leave the parking lot to make room for the next. Though we usually encourage it, this time please find another place to chat with your friends.
- No one is allowed access to the building, including restrooms, at this time.
For more information about COVID-19
How to Protect Yourself
What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019
We understand that many of you are anxious about your food supply. Know that Emmanuel’s Table is keenly aware and want to do all we possibly can. Currently, we plan to be open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (or until we run out) Tuesday, March 17, for emergency provisions only. We are offering prepackaged bags, being handed out based on the number of people in the family. There are two volunteers, wearing gloves and practicing social distancing, to hand out food out the parking lot. We ask that you practice social distancing as well when picking up food.
While we want to help the community and understand this is an extremely difficult time for many, we unfortunately can’t guarantee the food pantry will remain open regularly or at all. We are weighing all options and taking no decision lightly, while doing our absolute best to keep the safety of our volunteers and guests at the heart of every decision.
We can promise you updates as soon as they’re available via our Facebook and website, as this is a situation that is changing rapidly. Please be sure to check those sources regularly to be sure you have the most current information. We appreciate your understanding as we navigate a situation none of us has experienced before. If you are able to receive texts and would like updates this way, please let the volunteers know when they sign you in.
With all this in mind, we encourage folks to make other arrangements to secure food. Our website offers a list of area resources (please call to make sure they are open) and we will share any we hear of on our Facebook page.
Please join us in praying for one another during this unprecedented time. We are looking into ways to worship together virtually and invite you to join us. Information is shared via our Facebook page and website as it is available.
Holy, Gracious, Loving God. Our times are in your hands, and these times have brought us to a strange moment. We know there is fear, and we ask you to help us to turn this fear into an opportunity to spread your love. We pray for all those who are afraid, for all healthcare workers, for our hospital system, for all leaders who are making decisions that affect how families will live for weeks and months to come. We pray for all who are affected by this illness and all illness. Guide us all in this time of the unknown. Lead us, bless us, fill us with your peace and with your presence, so that our faith may always exceed our fear, and that we may be a part of the healing work that you call us to do. And we pray it all in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.