St. Peter's Protocols for COVID-19 - Suspension of Corporate Worship
Dear St. Peter’s family,
As you are all aware, there is concern swirling around the issue of the virus COVID-19.
As with many things today, we have to muck through our differing perspectives on the effects and consequences of how we deal with this new concern.
Our thoughts range from blasé to hysteria, and, as always, I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
The truth here is that this particular virus is highly contagious and poses a large risk to people with compromised or weak immune systems. Many healthy and strong individuals will be exposed to the virus but typically will recover well. While this is a large concern there is even a larger concern that effects our general community.
The movement to reduce large gatherings by public officials has merit as it is an effort to reduce the burden on our healthcare system, especially hospitals. The concern is that if exposure rises significantly our communities will have a shortage of hospital beds for COVID cases as well as normal emergeny care and health needs.
In light of these concerns Bishop Doyle has given his congregations a directive. This directive is not based in fear or hysteria. His directive is driven by concern for our health system’s ability to care for the population. By reducing our public gatherings we can spread the exposure of this virus over a longer amount of time.
Hopefully this will have the affect of reducing exposure to the disease and also prevent overwhelming our hospitals. This is an opportunity to care for our community beyond our walls. In making this decision we are expressing concern for the needs of beleivers and unbelievers alike while still holding true to our value of prayer.
As such the bishop has asked his people to worship and pray at home over the next 2 weeks. March 15th and 22nd I invite you to do that. I will be at the church reading Morning Prayer during our regular worship hours.
Believe me when I say this is difficult to me. If I idolize anything it is our worship together on Sunday mornings. Our time together on Sundays is one of my most sacred values.
Ironically or by Divine Appointment the gospel for this Sunday John 4:5-42 is the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. In their dialogue she asks Jesus, “Who is right?” The Samaritans worship God on Mount Gerizim while the Jews worship God on Mount Moriah at the Temple. Jesus responds, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem… But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
That is how we worship, in spirit and in truth. When the Church returns to the building we will do the same.
In Love and Faith I am your servant,
The following video link is Andy Doyle's, Bp. of the Diocese of Texas, thought and this matter: https://youtu.be/d8EIREheBLU