A Letter from the Rector and Senior Warden

Dear People of Good Shepherd,

We are writing you to let you know that our Task Force for a safe return to in-person worship has finished our plan for outdoor worship. They have been working diligently since the beginning of May.  Our plan has been approved by the Vestry and the Bishop, and we will begin a small weekly outdoor service at 9 a.m. on Sunday October 4th.

Our Worship in person will be much different from our “normal” way of worshiping and being together.

Just as you have seen changes in the way all businesses and restaurants work, with people wearing masks, and keeping distance, you will see changes here.  All of these changes are for safety reasons. Please read both documents that come with this letter and plan to follow all of the rules. If you have any questions, please call one of us.  We will have a reservation system for each Sunday as our capacity is strictly limited by safety rules.  Our hope is that all who wish to come to in-person worship at this time will be able to attend at least twice a month.
Many of you have been joining us for our 10:30 Zoom worship, which will continue to be our main service as we go forward. Many of you have said you will not be coming to anything in-person until the virus has been effectively controlled.

During the past 6 months our vital ministries have continued on Zoom and new initiatives have begun.  Your leadership has met as often as 3 – 4 times a week.  Our book study on issues of race was well attended (15 total) and helped us deepen our bonds through sharing our life experiences. Our Mission Task Force planned and executed several in-gatherings of food and supplies for the Food Pantry and Valley Restart, and these will continue monthly. You have been faithful in your giving, which has allowed us to keep afloat financially during this difficult time.
It will not be easy to follow all the rules that we must follow in order to worship in-person safely. It will not be easy, but it is a necessary sacrifice. We are making these sacrifices (wearing a tight-fitting mask the entire time, no hugging, no passing the peace, no physical contact with others, staying at least 6 feet away from others) so that we are much less likely to spread the virus among each other. We will be monitoring the gatherings and will be able to move forward with a short communion service when we are able to do Morning Prayer safely with everyone following all the rules.  Any in-person gathering carries an element of risk. We join our Bishop and medical experts in asking that all those in high-risk categories NOT attend any in-person gatherings at this time.
We continue to give thanks to God for your faithfulness and generosity, for the ministry God has given us to do, and for all the many blessings that are all around us every day. 

Butch Glosson, Sr. Warden

The Rev. Susan J. Latimer+, Rector
304 – 926-4554

Guidelines for In-person worship

Details on In-person worship

© 2020 Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd

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