Going back to Church Buildings for Worship
May 7, 2020 - Keeping you Updated
Greetings on this beautiful May afternoon. Like all of you, it is with hope and cautious optimism that we listened to Premier John Horgan speak yesterday about re-opening of our Province of BC. To be clear, we do not have a date yet as to when we will resume gatherings such as services. We do know that initially they will need to be gatherings of less than 50 people.
I wish to keep you as informed as I possibly can. We follow all the guidance that we receive from our Diocesan leadership. Our Executive Archdeacon, Barry Foster and the Diocesan Administrator and Dean, Ansley Tucker, will ultimately give us dates for re-entry of buildings and help us plan for moving forward.
I will be meeting with our wardens and Rev. Matt next week. Matt and I will be part of a Haro Region Clergy Discussion next week as well so that we consult with each other and move together.
One of the keys to this going well is planning and preparing well. The wardens and I will also consult with Parish Council as we move forward.
It is our plan at this point to begin, probably sometime next week, to poll people by E-mails as to which of the Services they will choose to attend when the time comes. Please avoid speculating on dates as we will only move carefully, and with consultation. Do start thinking about your own plans for re-entry to worship. In the meanwhile, “Church outside the Walls”, Virtual Church will continue to be sent to you each Sunday.
I leave you with words from a Blog by the Rev. Christopher Page, rector of St. Philip, Oak Bay. He captures how I feel about the Eucharist and hope for retuning to it soon. We will use careful planning in how we offer it when we do.
“I see Christ in you as you kneel or stand at the table with outstretched hands and an open heart. I hear the voice of Christ in the harmony of singing. I hear the sound of the divine as we join in prayer, hear Scriptures read, and sit in the patterns of refracted light spilling through stained glass.
Eucharist is not a ritual in which a priest is the only actor doing something to passive spectators. Eucharist takes place because everyone is an active participant. We are all the celebrants. We join together at the table to make real in a deep way the presence of that love and power that was manifest in the historical particular presence of Jesus.
The absence of physical presence is a great loss in Christian faith. But I trust that, as we hold the pain of this absence, we will, in time, return with greater depth to a renewed awareness of the sacred presence that comes to us embodied in the physical stuff of life.”
As Dr. Bonny Henry reminds us: Be kind, be calm, be safe
Blessings today and always!
Rev Lon Towstego