May 1: Updated Pastoral Directive from Bishop Reed

To the people of the Diocese of Fort Worth,

Greetings in the name of the Risen Lord and Savior of the world. Our hope is in Jesus Christ, and now more than ever, we need to affirm that truth.

Despite living in a time of pandemic and economic upheaval, we are blessed. One hundred years ago, during the Spanish flu, churches were shut down for months on end. With the benefit of technology, most of our churches have been able to continue worship, Bible studies, and other events in an online format.

COVID-19 disease remains prevalent in our community, and the number of new cases continues to increase on a daily basis. While we have used the state’s orders to help inform our decisions, we moved to online worship before the state “stay at home” order was issued, out of love for our neighbor and a desire to not have the Church as a source of risk or infection. At same time, I know of no one who has been turned away from Sunday worship in our diocese. We are taking more direction from the State of Texas when it comes to how we reopen Camp Crucis for Summer Camps and are awaiting guidelines from Governor Abbott.

Many of us are ready to get back to “normal,” but we must recognize that it will be a “new normal” for quite some time. It has been frustrating for some clergy to preach to empty rooms and to be banned from visiting the sick in hospitals, but we are attempting to continue ministry with grace.

The clergy have received both recommendations and guidelines for in-person worship from the CDC and from the State of Texas to assist us as we increase in-person worship. This week I have spoken individually with every priest in charge of a congregation, and I have to say that I am so proud of – and impressed by – the clergy and wardens of this diocese. They have been innovative, positive, and bold in ministering in this age of pandemic. The clergy have put a great deal of work into thinking through how we gather as Christians while at the same time limiting the risk to the most vulnerable among us. This has included outdoor worship services, drive-up Communion, and ever-expanding online offerings.

As we move forward into the summer months, I am issuing an updated directive, but I also recognize that each of our congregations is dealing with its own unique demographics and geographical realities and will need to operate accordingly. Both Canon Atwood and I are available to answer questions or discuss ideas going forward as needed.

May 1: Updated Pastoral Directive

  1. The safest place for all of us to worship continues to be at home, where we can maintain maximum social distancing. Individuals with significant health problems including obesity, lung, liver, kidney or heart disease or those who have impaired immune systems, including those on chemotherapy for cancer, should take the maximum measures to stay safe during this pandemic and should refrain from attending public worship.

  2. The dispensation from physical Communion continues through the end of June for all of our senior members or at-risk members and anyone concerned about being infected with the virus or infecting others with the virus. This will require a continued online offering of worship and Spiritual Communion integrated into the liturgy.

  3. The norm for reception of the Eucharist will continue to be in “one kind” through the end of June.

  4. For us to safely gather in groups, we will have to maintain social distancing by household. Alternating pews or spacing between chairs will need to be maintained in the nave and elsewhere.

  5. Hand sanitizing for all members before and after worship services is encouraged. Clergy should sanitize their hands before and after distribution of Communion or after any contact is made with someone else.

  6. Church surfaces and items that are regularly touched must be sanitized before and after gatherings.

  7. The alms basin or collection plate must not be passed, but can be set out in an area where people can make their offerings.

  8. Dismissal should be done by pew or household to avoid a gathering at the door.

  9. All attendees are encouraged to wear face coverings or masks out of love for one another.

  10. Please do not shake hands or hug at the Peace. A simple verbal greeting, or head nod, is sufficient.

  11. All other church meetings and gatherings outside of Sunday worship services need to observe social distancing guidelines and are at the discretion of the Rector or Vicar.

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– Bible Study 6:00PM

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Upcoming Events

  • May 27, 2020
    • Bible StudyBible StudyTime: 6:00 pm
      Grow your knowledge of the Bible and theology with Fr. John every Wednesday night.
  • May 31, 2020
    • Christian Ed. & Holy EucharistChristian Ed. & Holy EucharistTime: 9:30 am
      Christian Education @ 9:30AM
      Holy Eucharist @ 10:30AM
    • Pentecost Parish BBQPentecost Parish BBQTime: 12:00 pm
      Join us Sunday, May 31st immediately following Holy Mass for our first ever Pentecost Parish BBQ! We highly encourage you to wear Yellow, red, orange, or gold! Bring a side to share - meats will be provided!
  • June 2, 2020
    • Divine StitchesDivine StitchesTime: 6:00 pm
      Divine Stitches is a sewing ministry. We provide simple blankets for the First Responders in the Burkburnett area as well as work on our own personal projects.
  • June 3, 2020
    • Bible StudyBible StudyTime: 6:00 pm
      Grow your knowledge of the Bible and theology with Fr. John every Wednesday night.
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