We will be moving to livestream-only worship at 10:15am this coming Sunday (March 22) as a way to do our part in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The 8am Sunday service and all other in-person Epiphany gatherings are suspended immediately as well.
Rationally, this was an easy decision to make. In the last few days, we have heard from the CDC, the president, our archbishop and our bishop. They are unanimous. It is time to suspend all meetings of more than just a few people. Emotionally and spiritually, this is very difficult. Like many of us, I find the relationships I have through our church sustaining, and our worship together a high point of my week. My hope was that we could take protective steps that would have allowed us to continue to gather, but it has become clear that we cannot responsibly do that without putting people we love at real risk. We also do not know right now how long this time will last. It could be a while. As we have done so far, we will follow the guidelines we receive from the civil authorities and our bishop.
I am deeply grateful for the tools we already have to keep connected at Epiphany. We can join together virtually through the Sunday livestream of our service at 10:15. Last Sunday, we averaged between 50-70 households connected at any one time and a total of around 150 connections overall. In short, even though we couldn’t see each-other, Epiphany was gathered together! If you aren’t familiar with how to connect to our livestream, the easiest way to do it is to go to our website (www.epiphanyanglican.net) at 10:15 on Sunday morning and click on the “livestream” link. Also, two of our in-house experts, Bob Beckley (703-307-8741) and Ralph Morris (703-631-1687) would be happy to guide you. Just give them a call.
Here is a quick list of other things to be aware of
- Share a note, picture or short prayer request with the congregation that can be part of the Sunday livestream. Send it at anytime to email@example.com.
- Our current worship book is here as a pdf that you can print out at home.
- Small group leaders, watch for an email from our small group coordinator Sally O’Brien McNeely detailing ways to keep your group connected during this season.
- Starting at noon on Wednesday, March 25, we will be livestreaming a midweek prayer service and reflection from one of the clergy each week.
- Our prayer line is active and available at any time. Call 703-389-7292 or submit a prayer request online here.
- If your family has physical needs during this time, Epiphany has a ministry for that. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- A single staff member is at the office during our normal business hours (8:30-4pm Monday through Friday). Feel free to call, or if you need to drop something off or pick something up, to stop by.
Friends, this is a moment when we find what is truly important and what we actually believe. So much that would normally preoccupy us has faded into the background over the last few days. In the days ahead, may we be occupied by caring for our families, our neighbors and each-other, by praying for God’s protection and mercy, particularly for those who are at greater risk, and wisdom, endurance and health for doctors, nurses and other caregivers.
“Almighty and merciful God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ healed lepers, the blind, the lame and the deaf, and who calmed the storm: Grant healing for those who have been infected with COVID-19, protection for those who have been exposed, and comfort for all who have fears and anxieties, that we might know His loving presence and make Him known; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
God bless you,