Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church

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Rector's Corner

When Can We Open for Everyone?

  • The Rev. Dr. Bill Murray
  • Jun 11, 2020
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The most asked question for the last two months or more has been the same, “When can we go back to church?” I know there is a desire to be back in our building, in the same pew, and surrounded by familiar, loving faces. Part of that question is “when can we get back to normal?” We all understand that hope in an uncertain season.

On a deeper level, I believe folks are asking for a safe space amid the chaos of our current world. We are all yearning not just to “get back to normal” but for the comfort that can be found in the known, in being known, and being surrounded by those we love. Worship connects us with the unchanging God in a constantly changing world. Church is our anchor during the storms of life.

We have started a conversation with a committee about re-opening the church. There were lots of lists of things to think about, options for how to handle different situations, ways to address concerns, and even references to epidemiologists and the CDC. But our larger conversation was around what it means to open our doors.

While we do not have a definitive list, our biggest concern is how we gather the whole people of God for worship. From what we have reviewed and studied, there is no fully safe way to open our church right now. There will be a level of risk for even the most detailed of plans. More than that, none of us feel comfortable with the message of excluding those who are medically vulnerable or over a certain age.

Let me say it differently, we want to gather all of God’s people not just some of God’s people.

This means that we, the church, will be trying to find the best time and way to welcome as many as we can versus just opening on the first possible day we can. Right now, we are not allowed to open regardless. But we are also positive that we do not want to have a service where no one over 65 can come, no one can sing, no one can receive communion, no one can touch, only 60-80 can come to a service, and all must wear masks.

In other words, we are trying to find ways we can be community and care for all of the church together. We want to open the doors wide instead of partially, for certain folks, on specific days. My promise to all of you is that we will share information as soon as we can about what happens next AND that we will do all we can to gather together the full body of Christ.

Until then, we will continue online worship, sharing resources and class and small groups, and pray for you all each and every day.

May God Bless,
Bill+