Due to the global pandemic, our regular schedule of worship was discontinued this spring, in line with other Episcopal churches, Georgia regulations, and federal guidelines. After a few weeks of figuring things out, Fr. Ted Clarkson got his sermons online and then we began with Sunday Service being filmed and broadcast on YouTube and uploaded to our church Facebook page. Joe Train was/is an invaluable asset during this start up time and going forward.
While we weren’t using Zoom or YouTube for church communcicaitons prior to the pandemic, our Sunday School adult classes and our Wednesday “North End” worship are now available weekly through Zoom, and the Sunday Service is available through Fr. Ted Clarkson’s YouTube channel. Those YouTube videos may be viewed at any time, so if you missed one, click on over and hear the familiar words of the liturgy, familiar hymns, and take part in the Virtual Communion of the Body of Christ. Here’s a link to get you started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YX0XN8cBlSs
In our June 2020 St. Andrew’s and St. Cyprian’s newsletter, Father Ted mentioned that church may restart Sunday worship services in July, depending on what happens between now and then. It is believed that masks will be required. It is likely that there will be social distancing, so only one family group may sit in each pew. Likely, there will be at least a pew empty in between worshipers, which will greatly reduce available seating. Also likely, there will be few hymns/anthems or no singing allowed. Communion will be limited to a sharing of the bread at this time, most likely. Everything is subject to change, but Fr. Ted cautions the most vulnerable of our church community to continue vigilantly practicing social distancing, to limit trips out of the home to only those most necessary, and to continue frequent hand washing.
It is important that everyone with special needs in our church community reach out through the office for help as we have helpers on call. All of our members are being prayed for and are valued members of our church family. Our clergy and vestries are continuing to address each challenge as it arises so that we can share God’s word and love and feel part of this beloved Body of Christ. Vestry Meetings have gone virtual so that our church leadership teams are protected and connected.
During the pandemic, several ministries have valiantly kept going, notably our Two Saints Cafe and our Food Pantry. The cafe averages about 100 meals every Thursday, which are all done with curbside pickup to keep workers and diners safe. This coming weekend our Thrift Shop will reopen with a bag sale. I’m sure many other groups, such as Daughters of the King, Episcopal Church Women, Outreach, Pastoral Care, and so many more, are working diligently behind the scenes to uplift us and foster hope and joy in our hearts.
If you haven’t already joined Facebook, it is a good way to also connect with our parish. https://www.facebook.com/standrewsstcypriansepiscopalchurches/ Links to Services, Sermons, meetings, and posts about our readings are meant to encourage us all in our daily walk with Christ. Stay connected. If you have questions, please call our church office at (912) 437-4562. If the office is closed, the messages are routinely checked and someone will get back to you.
Peace in Christ to all!