To the Beloved Community,
As I write to you today, I cannot help but be reminded that sixty-five years ago today my parents were married. Recently recovered photographs of their wedding day show a couple looking forward to the future. This is my parents with my mother’s parents on their wedding day.
We, too, look to the future. We look forward to the day that we regather in our church buildings, but for now I remind us all that the church is the Body of Christ. It is essential that we stay connected and that we care for one another in what is truly a natural disaster in our lives.
As we plan for a phased approach to physical re-gatherings, our highest priority remains limiting risk and keeping us all safe. It has been anticipated and is still our hope that we will be able to have our first in-person service since March on Sunday, June 14, but there are various procedures and precautions that must be in place, including practicing social distancing, wearing masks, not having Holy Eucharist, not singing and pausing Coffee Hours.
I assure you that our Wardens and Vestries, and I, are working closely on plans of what this new phase includes. The Diocese is providing significant planning support to our churches and all our plans must be approved by the Bishop prior to our reopening. You can read the most recent update and guidelines from Bishop Goff on the Diocese website.
We will take these steps, alongside with many other churches not out of fear, but out of a desire to do everything in our power to prevent a community spread of COVID-19 and to care for the least and most vulnerable among us. The numbers from Shenandoah County and surrounding counties in western Virginia continue to be sobering and cause for concern.
I will be attending an online preaching course from May 18 to 22. I will return calls and emails as soon as possible.
Please continue to read these Weekly Updates, our website and Facebook to stay current with information.
The meetup is cancelled for next week (May 21) since I am attending the online course.
SUNDAY MORNING PRAYER SERVICE
10:15 a.m. on Zoom and Facebook Live followed by a Coffee Hour on Zoom. (Click the Zoom link to join, the password is embedded. For Facebook Live, click the link to be taken to our Facebook page to view the live stream.) A Zoom usher is allowing people into the service from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m. when the service begins. If you try to join after that, you won’t be able to enter and will need to watch on Facebook Live.
The weekly bulletin is available on our website so you can download it Sunday to follow throughout the service. I would love for everyone to download and use it as it does take a good amount of time to put together and post. It is absolutely safe to download as it is coming directly from us.
Zoom Tip to make sure you are muted during the service: There should be a RED line through the microphone icon on the Zoom screen. If there isn’t, you are not muted so if you make any sound, Zoom will switch the video and audio of the service to you.
Every week, I am leading:
Mondays, 9 a.m. Morning prayer on Facebook Live
Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. Evening prayer on Facebook Live
Wednesdays, Noonday prayer CANCELLED for next week, May 20
Fridays, 7:30 p.m. Bedtime story with Mother Kathy, invite your friends! Facebook Live
All of the weekly and Sunday services are available to view on Facebook and our website after airing.
DROP-IN OFFICE HOURS
Office hours are cancelled for next week (May 21) since I’ll be taking the online course during that time.
Thank you for continuing to send your pledges. Your generosity supports us in our ministries and ability to operate. I appreciate your mailing your check to our church office, or using the special online portal established through our diocesan office (available here) for electronic giving (be sure to mentions which church and the location in the memo). I particularly encourage folks to send contributions directly to each church.
Emmanuel Episcopal 122 E. Court Woodstock VA 22664
St. Andrew’s Episcopal P.O. Box 117 Mt. Jackson, VA 22842
As directed by Bishop Goff, we are working from home. If you have a question, concerns or would like to check in with us (we would love that!) please email us (beckfordrector at gmail.com for me, beckfordparishoffice at gmail.com for Melissa).
I observe the Sabbath Friday and Saturday while Melissa is off Thursday after 1:30 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday. While we may not reply immediately, we absolutely will get back to you.
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.
I offer prayers every day for our parishes and for all those for whom prayer has been asked every day. It is nice when we can offer those prayers with one another. If you would to pray with me for physical, emotional, or spiritual healing for yourself or a loved one, please reach out to me by email at beckfordrector at gmail.com. We can set up a time to speak via phone or even via Zoom.
As we prepare for this next season of our life together, be assured that we will continue to provide additional resources for prayer and community. Know that I am here for each of you and praying for you. Please reach out if you need support or encouragement.