UPDATE: All public Worship, events and use of church space by outside groups suspended through may 8 at least
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As you may have seen in The Washington Post and elsewhere, Bishop Goff has directed all Episcopal churches in the Diocese of Virginia to suspend public worship and large gatherings until March 25. Before that date, she and her team will reevaluate the situation then provide us with further direction. This action is being taken so that we may slow the spread of COVID 19 and protect one another, especially the most vulnerable, as much as possible. According to epidemiologists, the best way to do this is through social distancing and physical contact.
What does this mean for us?
For Beckford Parish, this means that all March 15 and 22 Sunday services are cancelled, along with Bible study, Friday’s ladies dinner, Lenten study and Wednesday Eucharist. It also applies to me leading any public worship, thus we must forgo participation in the Tuesday, March 24, Lenten service and luncheon. Direction regarding food pantries will be forthcoming from the Diocese. Should the March 29 services take place, we will have services at the usual times instead of the planned joint service. While we may not be able to physically gather together, we must pray for one another. I am looking into ways to lead virtual worship.
There is still a need to make sure Emmanuel and St. Andrew’s are able to operate. In this regard, we ask that pledges be mailed directly to either church.
What about the offices?
Melissa and I plan to be in the office as usual. Either of us may be reached most easily by email. If you have a personal matter, or a specific liturgical or worship question, please email me directly. Melissa is able to address all other concerns. Unless it is absolutely necessary for you to be there, please limit visits to the churches. If you need to speak with me urgently, please call my cell phone (the number is available in the directory). If I am unable to answer, I’ll return your call.
How do I get updates?
As you may imagine, information is changing rapidly. The best way to remain up to date is to check your email, our website and Facebook page regularly. Melissa and I will do our best to keep everyone informed. To avoid confusion, please speak with me or Melissa directly, or refer to the listed information outlets to get information rather than relying on hearsay.
We are doing our best to limit the number of emails going out to you. With this in mind, please find this week’s prayer list below. If you do receive an email, please do read it knowing we are only sending important updates at this time.
What should I do?
If you have questions or concerns, please reach out. Please know I am in close contact with our vestries and the Diocese. While this is a time of uncertainty, I urge you to pray for one another, our community, our leaders, our country and the world at large. As Bishop Goff reminds us, “Do not be afraid. God is good. God is leading us and guiding us even now. God is teaching us how to be Church in ways that might not be comfortable, but in ways that will be faithful.”
Bishop Goff’s full statement regarding these directives is available online.
Commended to Your Prayers
Pray for those in need of healing Bryant Kirkland, Kendall Lovan, Chris Rush, Joan and Mal Sarna, Ray Smith, Tomasina Stephon, Ruth Anne Troxell, Dave Whittaker, Scott Chapman, Karen Meyerhoeffer, Leo Ryman, Richard Mendales, Sherri Halstead, Ray Flugel, Ann Guiffre, Dave Williamson, Sally Messina, Mikie Stamper, Carol Moore, Peyton, Tea, Mary Graf, Dr. Jerry Germroth, David Jett, Bill Giles, Mr. and Mrs. Angel Rios, Jr., Jillian Shirkey, Tonya Wical, Alton Duckworth, Carter Lee, Brenda Litten, Karen and Dwight Secrist, Karen Phillips and Savannah Grace Haynes, Logan Secrist, the McWilliams family, Jennifer Christakes, Omar Perez, Jorge Adsuar, Janet Sibert, Jean Whitaker, Sarah & Dennis Vaughn; Father Dobbins, John Whittington, Billy Rice, Robert Fisher; Hilda Troxell, Fran and Gary Findley, Gaston family, Allaeddin and Ozra Nateghi-Asli, and Stephen Randle.
Pray for those who care for the sick, physicians and nurses, family and friends Courtney Burgan, Bart Hoffman, Barbara Kirkland, Imogene Poland, Dr. David Repaske, Lisa Repaske, Katie Snyder, Debbie Patton, Brigetta Stewart and Cheryl Phillips.
Pray for those members and friends who are not able to be present with us today Naomi Blay, Dave Williamson and Norman Catlett.
Pray for those in the Armed Forces especially Courtney Barrett, Andrew Boggs, Charles Bowman, Corey Brigner, William Byram, Chris Clark, Joseph Cooper, Tom Craig, John L. Curry, John P. Curry, Kenny Detwiler, Ashley Helvack, Cindy Hensley, Daniel Jacobson, Chris McDonald, Danny Mendoza, Christopher Murphy, Adrienne Payne, William Preston, Chris Rogers, Mark Sackett, Scott Samuels, Corey Sherk, Jacob Shifflett, James Stanley, Joshua Sydow, Andrew Weixel, Christopher Whitney, Braxton Swanke, Michael F. Santucci and John Catlett.