March 13, 2020
In light of recent events around the COVID-19 virus, St. Gabriel’s will be closed for worship and other church events (classes, Lenten Quiet Day, Bible studies, Bunny Breakfast, etc.) from now until at least Monday, March 30.
Your parish leaders and I reached this decision thoughtfully and prayerfully, and it comes from a place of concern for the health and well-being of all people, especially folks who might be vulnerable to illness. We are not trying to increase anxiety or fear, but rather to encourage an abundance of caution, especially given our close proximity to known cases of the corona virus. This decision also comes from a call by Bishop Kevin, whose message you can read at DioBeth.org.
Non-church functions held at St. Gabriel’s will continue to operate at their discretion. St. Gabriel’s is increasing the hours of our cleaning company to make sure that our space stays sanitized and safe for everyone who comes into the building.
In the upcoming weeks, there will be opportunities for communal worship and spiritual nourishment in non-traditional forms. I will upload to the St. Gabriel’s website an audio recording of our weekly worship service, up through the Peace. If you are looking for daily meditations or spiritual practices this Lent, I’d encourage you to look at SignsOfLife.org, a daily meditation from the Society of St. John the Evangelist.
Please note that the church office will remain open Monday through Thursday during the coming weeks. If you or someone you know needs assistance for food, rent, or other essentials, please call the church office at (610) 385-3144. It is important for us to continue operating as a loving, supportive, Christian community now more than ever.
If you are able, I also encourage you to continue supporting the ministries of St. Gabriel’s financially over the next couple weeks by mailing in pledge payments. This allows us to continue our work in the wider community and world.
Lastly, please keep in your prayers St. Gabriel’s, our communities, those folks living with the corona virus, and all those who are wrestling with fear during these anxious times.
Thank you for your faithfulness, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions or concerns.
“Be present, O merciful God, and protect us, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (BCP 1979, p. 133)