One of the hardest aspects of this time has been our inability to plan much of anything with certainty. Then, as soon as we feel like things are set, they change again. For a congregation that usually has things planned months in advance, this has been a real challenge. The flexibility of our congregation and staff has been astonishing. I’ve also been particularly grateful for our committee that has met regularly to monitor the COVID-19 situation in our city and assist us in making decisions that balance our desire to be with one another while minimizing risk, and doing our part to contain the spread in our city. That committee is made up of Dr. David Ross, Dr. David Byrd, Ms. Ann Leafstedt, me, and the other senior staff. We have worked with the Vestry to develop a set of recommendations based on public health guidance that allows us to adjust our planning as needed and with a bit more predictability.
Last week we were able to stream our main liturgy and have a congregation present. That was after many hours of work to ensure the right technology was in place as well as safe practices. At that point we were still in the green zone for San Antonio. The color zones are made up of a number of different public health metrics. Go online for more information. As the situation has worsened in the last week, we have now moved to yellow. At the yellow level, along with a directive from Metro health to minimize indoor gatherings, we are now moving to only outdoor worship with a congregation present.
We will continue to stream our main liturgy at 10.00am as we have been. There will also now be an outdoor 10.00am service and an 11.30am outdoor service in Tucker Courtyard. Should we move out of yellow to orange, we will suspend outdoor services. Should we move back to green, we will resume indoor opportunities. Despite the changes that may come in the next weeks and months, I think our faith allows us to ground ourselves in hope while we respond to shifting circumstances. With the vaccines on the horizon, I also know this season will come to an end and we will be able to gather and reconnect in ways we miss and love. I’m grateful to all of you for your patience and care for one another.
Our seminarian, Susan Oakes has also had an interesting journey with us this semester. She was meant to preach today at our evening service. She graciously recorded her reflection, and so we can make it available to you now. Please feel free to be in touch if you have any questions for me.