Weekly Update 4/9

Weekly Update 4/9

Easter greetings to everyone!

During this week’s meeting with Bishop Goff and her staff, she reminded us to make sure we are all taking time to “pray and play” in this new rhythm of life.

She emphasized the importance of wearing a mask if you must go out and, above all, to STAY HOME. It is simply not safe for people to be moving around as much as they are. We are called at this time to make this sacrifice for the well being of all. We’re in this for the long haul. We must take good and gentle care of everyone. This sacrifice shows that we have a strong and clear understanding about what it means to be a church: The Body of Christ.

All staff, clergy and lay, have been directed to work from home unless they are given an exception directly from the Bishops. As you know, in our parish we are already working from home so are in compliance.

Please be mindful that scammers are out there taking advantage of the crisis. If you receive a request for money from the Diocese, you can safely assume it is a scam. Anything official would come directly from thediocese.net. The same is true in respect to our parish: Carefully look at anything you receive asking for funds beyond the reminder to mail in pledges or use the Diocese’s electronic payment system (info below) for that purpose. I use the email address beckfordrector@gmail.com and parish-wide emails such as this one come from Melissa’s email, beckfordparishoffice@gmail.com. It is best practice to call the Diocese or me prior to sending money anywhere. 

We are being called to find creativity in worship and prayer. Remember, we are not confined to one building, one house, one priest – this is an ongoing feast. We are an Easter people. Moving from fasts into feasts can depend on that happening now.

Keep an eye out for a special Easter video from the Woodstock Ministerium! It should be posted to our Facebook page and website sometime Friday.

A special Holy Week service booklet is available to download here. 

Zoom Password and Links: Sent to parishioners signed up to receive emails in the Thursday Weekly Update.

Click the Zoom links below to join that specific service. Passwords are being used due to security concerns.

The Book of Common Prayer is available online for those those who would like to access it.

Maundy Thursday service is on Zoom and Facebook Live at 6:30 p.m.

Good Friday service is at 12 p.m. on Zoom and Facebook Live.

Easter Vigil service is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on Zoom and Facebook Live.

So you’re aware, all participants’ video and audio are muted upon logging on to Zoom in order to eliminate outside noise. You’re welcome to share the Zoom information with friends and family, but please do not share it publicly so that we can maintain security. Anyone is always welcome to attend via Facebook Live.

Please be aware that we are doing our best — Audio and video may not always be as clear as we’d like, delays may occur and last minute changes to fix unexpected issues do occur. We’re all doing our best with what is available during a situation we never anticipated to be in.

Like many Dioceses, we have agreed not to lead local Easter Day services. Instead, we are coming together across the country as a community to worship with the National Cathedral. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is starting the services at 11:15 a.m. on their Facebook page.


Every week, I am leading:

Mondays, 9 a.m. Morning prayer on Zoom and Facebook Live
Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. Evening prayer on Zoom and Facebook Live
Wednesdays, 12 p.m. Noonday prayer on Zoom and  Facebook Live 
Fridays, 7:30 p.m. Bedtime story with Mother Kathy, invite your friends! Zoom and Facebook Live  
              This Friday’s story is a special request from Dylan Helsley, along with a surprise.


Melissa has set up a Facebook group specifically for parishioners so that we may go there to share recipes, amusing anecdotes, prayers, calming photos, support, resources — the types of things we share in person at our Coffee Hours, Women’s Dinners and Men’s Breakfasts. The group is for parishioners only, and unlike our Facebook page, only we will see content. That way, we can protect everyone’s privacy and feel comfortable sharing. Once added to the group, anyone may post.

I ask that you refrain from discussing politics, sharing business posts of any type, fundraisers (unless it is specifically for one of our ministries), and that you remember to be kind to one another as we would be in person.

To join the group, click on this link, click “join group,” answer the security questions and submit. Melissa or I will then approve and you can begin posting. You must have a Facebook account to join the group.


April vestry meetings are via Zoom on Monday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. for Emmanuel and Tuesday, April 14 at 6:30 p.m. for St. Andrew’s. Vestry members should check their email for the meeting link, which was sent out by Melissa last Wednesday and is being sent the afternoon before each meeting. 


The vestry and I thank everyone for sending in your pledges so that we can continue to operate. Please continue to send pledges, either via mail to churches or electronically (remembering to include in the memo the church’s name and location). Mailing directly to the church is preferred, but please do whatever is easiest for you. You are appreciated!

Emmanuel Episcopal 122 E. Court Woodstock VA 22664
St. Andrew’s Episcopal P.O. BOx 117 Mt. Jackson, VA 22842


For those sewing masks, if you are able, Emmanuel’s Table Food Pantry would appreciate any donations you can spare to distribute masks to pantry clients. We understand that the primary focus at this time is those health care workers on the front lines, so appreciate this may not be possible. If you have any to donate, they can be dropped off in a bag at the office door at Emmanuel. The pantry volunteers can pick them up Mondays or Tuesday afternoons to distribute in the food packages.


As the stay-at-home order is now in place and cases in our area increase daily, I encourage folks to utilize grocery pickup. To help our local restaurants, please consider using curbside pickup to show your support. When you do go out for essentials, remember to wear your mask, covering mouth and nose!

If you need help with shopping, or know another parishioner who does, please let Melissa or me know so that we can arrange with a volunteer for them to get what is needed. Please stay safe, remembering to wash hands often and staying in except for vital errands. If you are high risk or don’t feel safe, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are in this together! Walmart in Woodstock does allow for curbside pickup. Spots become available every day at midnight. You do need to grab one quickly as they fill up rapidly.


If you are facing hardship accessing food but are hesitant to use the food pantry for whatever reason, please reach out to me, Melissa or one of the wardens privately. We can arrange for you to receive pantry assistance in a more private way than the usual Tuesday pickup.

The pantry fed a record 293 people (93 families) this week. A record for the pantry! Next Tuesday, it is open at the usual 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. with the modified process we have implemented. If you know of anyone in need, please share the information with them. Folks are welcome to make pickups at the pantry for others who can’t get out. The person picking up only the name of the person they’re picking up for and number of people in the family.


The updated 2020 directory is nearing completion and is set to be available on the website in the next couple weeks. Please watch for updates!


As mentioned above, Melissa and I are both working from home for the foreseeable future. You may contact us via email. For urgent pastoral matters only, call my cell phone.

Keep in mind, I observe the Sabbath Friday and Saturday while Melissa is off Thursday after 1:30 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So, we may not reply until Monday. We promise we are not ignoring you, care very much about everyone, miss you all, and will respond.


For now, the prayer list can be found online (scroll to the bottom of the page). Melissa is updating it as names are added or removed so it stays current.

Easter blessings,
Mother Kathy+

Visit our website for an archive of all COVID-19 info and weekly update emails.