COVID-19 Archived Messages

WELCOME

To the right, you will find links to all messages sent out in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Below are the text and graphics from each message listed by date from oldest to newest.  

Updated April 2, 2020 8:00 am 

Finance and Stewardship: A message from Bishop Megan Traquair featuring Kati Braak, Director of Operations
Canon Andrea McMillin: Diocesan Administration

Recognizing the emotional and financial impact of the pandemic on the church, the health and sustainability of our congregations is our main focus, especially:

  • Worship and Holy Week
  • Finance and stewardship
  • Pastoral care of our leaders

Measures taken to support congregations during this time:

  • Routine meetings with diocesan governance, church finance and Investment Fund officers
  • Collaboration with clergy and lay leader teams, for a stronger response
  • Regularized Zoom calls with treasurers to prepare, support, and teach as needed
  • Pause on program spending as well as the hiring of the Missioner for Evangelism and Discipleship
  • Deferment of apportionment for qualifying churches
  • Creation of a Stewardship & Finance Task Force to help ensure long-term success


Updated Mar. 28, 2020 8:00 am

Holy Week @ Home: Creating a Home Altar
Canon Andrea McMillin: Diocesan Communications

Bishop Megan offers pastoral guidance and instruction on how to build a sacred space in our homes.

We have set up a special page on our website that gives guidance to your home worship during Holy Week.

Visit the website and start planning: norcalepiscopal.org/holy-week-home

You can also find places that are offering special online worship throughout Holy Week on this page: norcalepiscopal.org/holy-week-home-suggested-online-worship

Please share this with your congregations and make this widely known.

Check your church's website for worship times and resources.

#HolyWeekatHome




Updated Mar. 25, 2020 12:00 pm

Stewardship and giving during a pandemic

Canon Andrea McMillin: Diocesan Communications

A growing concern in our diocese is the issue of pledge income and Sunday donations in the plate. Diocesan Governance shares this concern. The Budget and Finance committee of the Board of Trustees will meet this week to discuss the financial impact of this pandemic on our congregations, and possible responses by the board. These conversations are happening in a thoughtful and deliberate manner.

Our stewardship is the only way that our faithful witness can continue. Diocesan leadership teams will consider thoughtfully the economic reality of this pandemic as it evolves, and will respond with congregation based and diocesan wide initiatives as appropriate. We all desire to see our churches thrive even in the midst of difficult times.

Congregations should activate their pledge teams and act now:

Online Giving:

Here is information for online giving in your church:

norcalepiscopal.org/how-to-set-up-online-giving

If you already have online giving, plan to reach out and assist people in learning the system.

A giving button should be on every communication that goes out from the church.

Direct ask by church leaders:

People love your church - and want to give. Be clear in the ask. 

Ask your parishioners if they can resume their pledge, and if possible, add what they would have given in the plate offering. Put this in every communication that goes out.

Use print, a phone call, a video by leadership.

Make a time during worship for people to post online what they are grateful for, and offer them an opportunity to give. Text to Give, go online to give, or ask them to prepare their check and drop it in the mail during the service time. 

Prepay:

Ask if people can prepay some of their pledge to help offset the disruption.

Some of our people can do this.

Don’t be afraid to ask directly.

Easter Offering:

Consider a mailer: a card and stamped/pre addressed envelope.

Plan a digital Easter Offering ask. (Virtual Easter flowers, anyone?)

Reach everyone you can:

Be bold!

Anyone who has any connection to your church should be given the opportunity to contribute to your ministry. 

Expand the circle beyond the people who have pledges already.

People feel helpless in the face of disaster – and this is something they can do to ensure the church will continue this good work of worship, prayer, connection, and service.

Updated Mar. 20, 2020 12:00 pm

 

Holy Week @ Home: A Pastoral Message from Bishop Megan

Canon Andrea McMillin: Diocesan Communications

Bishop Megan offers pastoral guidance and instruction as we prepare to celebrate Holy Week at home, in this unique time.

Please share this with your congregations and make this widely known.

A summary of her statement is below. A full text of her statement will be posted later today:

Holy Week at Home is the best response at this time, given the realities of our situation

Online worship is working - Our churches are making deep connection with our members and community well outside the church

Public health restrictions have increased in order to #flattenthecurve and protect vulnerable people

We will tell the great story of salvation, at home

We are in this together

A core team of your leaders is gathering ideas about HolyWeek@Home

Check our website, Facebook and Instagram for daily updates

#HolyWeekatHome


Stay Connected:

Diocesan COVID-19: Health and Safety: www.norcalepiscopal.org/covid-19-health-and-safety

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter



Updated Mar. 18, 2020 11:00 am

A pastoral message from Bishop Megan Traquair 

From Diocesan Communications: Canon Andrea McMillin

On Tuesday, March 18, 2020, Bishop Megan released a pastoral message by video.This is the first in a series of video updates that we will release from this office.To summarize Bishop Megan’s message:

Our worship on Sunday was powerful, inspiring, and joyful! Thank you to all who made this possible. We are still the church, staying connected and serving our communities.  

A $150 grant has been sent this week to each church in the diocese, to purchase a one year subscription to Zoom video conferencing. The hope is that every church in the diocese would have a zoom account. However, you also may use the grant at your discretion for equipment or other digital subscriptions as fits your context.

Holy Week: we are taking things one step at a time. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has given dioceses permission to conduct Holy Week virtually. A team of liturgical leaders is gathering to consider our needs as a diocese, so we can share resources should we need to observe Holy Week while under health restrictions.

Nothing will stop Easter – or the power of the resurrection. We will, step by step, walk the path of Holy Week until we stand with our toes at the edge of the empty tomb.

May the blessing of Almighty God:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
rest upon you this day, and always.
AMEN


Stay Connected:

Diocesan COVID-19: Health and Safety: www.norcalepiscopal.org/covid-19-health-and-safety
Sign up for Zoom: zoom.us/pricing
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter


Bishop’s Office update 

 Starting today, our staff will be switching to a work-at-home plan. Each day, a couple of our team members, on rotation, will be in the office (maintaining careful social distancing!) tending to vital tasks, but most of us will be at home. We do not anticipate this will lead to significant disruption in our work, but if something takes longer than usual, please be patient with us during this situation. We want to serve you while also protecting our staff and communities. As the situation evolves, we will let you know if there are changes that impact our work and ability to stay connected.


All meetings and appointments will be held via zoom or phone as arranged. Our main office phone will be checked regularly. Please reach out via email, phone, or cell phone if you need us.



Updated Mar. 13, 2020 4:00 pm

Dear Friends in Christ,


Several of our clergy have asked about Sunday worship and how best to navigate the current health restrictions while making worship feel familiar across the distance. The Rev. Dr. Stephen Shaver has recently returned from paternity leave and quickly arrived at an elegant option for us, which preserves the Eucharistic pattern. I commend this as an option if you are not conducting the Holy Eucharist. Morning Prayer is also suitable. As the liturgical leader, these choices are up to you. If you have not already, I recommend starting the process to make online giving an option for your people, so they may make their offering easily. As we lead worship in this new way, I am mindful that every context is different, and there is not one liturgical answer for everyone. Let us gather and proclaim the word, offer prayers and blessings, and connect with one another as the body of Christ.


I will join you in virtual worship across the diocese and look forward to hearing the word.


Blessings in Christ,


A Possibility for Livestreamed Sunday Worshipfrom Stephen Shaver, Incarnation, Santa Rosa

Hi friends,


Many of us are working on planning our services for this Sunday, seeking to prepare for genuine worship on the part of those few who are present, while acknowledging that the vast majority will be participating via video and will not be allowed to be there in person. In this challenging pastoral situation, it might be helpful to consider an option that’s rarely used, but that the Prayer Book offers: celebrating the eucharistic Liturgy of the Word, but without Communion. We did this at Incarnation last October during the time when we were displaced from our building during the Kincade Fire. I spoke with Bishop Megan this afternoon and she’s approved this as a possibility for our congregations during this time of closure.

 
Doing the Liturgy of the Word alone - or “Ante-Communion,” as the service used to be called - offers a way to share in the familiar rhythm of the eucharistic liturgy, as opposed to a service like Morning Prayer which is likely to be less familiar as a principal Sunday Service. Yet by not including Communion itself, it may also help acknowledge the loss and disruption of being unable to truly gather around the table as a community, and avoid the need to have only an invited few share physically in the sacrament while others can only watch online.


If you decide to use this option, it’s fairly simple to plan. You can use the service you’ve already prepared. The rubric for this comes from p. 406 of the Prayer Book (“If there is no Communion …”). After the Prayers of the People, “a hymn or anthem may be sung, and the offerings of the people received.” If your church offers online giving, you might invite those watching online to make a contribution at this time. Then pray the Lord’s Prayer together, and conclude the service with “the Grace (i.e. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God …”), or a blessing, or the Peace.” I’d suggest the Grace or a blessing might be most effective in this time when we’re not able to share the Peace in our most familiar way.


If you do choose to do this for your Sunday service, it’s important to share with your congregation what will be happening and why. It’s a good teaching opportunity. You’re welcome to use some of the language in this message if you’d like, or come up with your own words.


We’re all scrambling to face this new situation. But we’re not doing it alone. Prayers and blessings for each of our congregations. May the Spirit be in our midst as we gather.


Christ’s peace,


Stephen



Please check the diocesan webpage for a list of churches that are offering livestreamed services on Sunday morning. You can use this link for publishing out to your parishioners: www.norcalepiscopal.org/online-worship




Updated Mar. 12, 2020 5:00 pm

Mar 12, 2020


Dear Friends in Christ,


I have been closely following the reports from the State of California, local county health departments, and listening to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry this past week. In this quickly changing climate, I have gleaned more recent information and I am taking this next step, today.


In my pastoral opinion and to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, l am directing all our congregations to cease gathering for regular Sunday worship beginning this Sunday, March 15, 2020, and to offer worship using online tools.


I will consider a return to physical gatherings in our sanctuaries in a number of weeks or as circumstances warrant.


As the Body of Christ, we will still worship and praise God. Clergy for a congregation should gather with two appropriate persons to celebrate a simple Eucharist, which includes a homily. This can be shared online through Facebook Live or another digital tool. (You do not have to belong to Facebook to access Facebook Live broadcasts.)


If your congregation is not equipped to do this, please be in contact with your Regional Dean or our communications office. They will have information for you about which congregations in your area are able to offer this online worship and how to share a link to that broadcast with your people.


I am also directing our congregational leaders to activate your church phone tree, as was suggested in previous messaging. Make an effort to reach each person in your congregation with a phone call. These calls will convey your pastoral concern for their well-being, will give you information about any urgent needs they might have, and should end with a prayer; such as saying the Lord’s Prayer, together. I thank God for our many clergy and lay leaders - you are already caring for our people faithfully and well. Your calm and faithful presence is crucial to your flock and I am grateful for your ministry and care.


My friends, this time of uncertainty and illness is distressing, but such times have always been known by the Christian Community. Our faith has always dwelt at the quickening edge of life. We are the People of the Paschal Mystery, which means that the God who made us died for us and rose again. As an Easter people, we are already used to walking through Holy Week, all the way to Resurrection. This is our path even now: Resurrection is ahead of us. May our trust in the living Savior, Jesus Christ, keep us from fear and free us to care for others.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

May God bless you and keep you,


Links: 

California Department of Public Health: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/

Local Departments of Health by county: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/LocalHealthServicesAndOffices.aspx

Guidance for Homeless Assistance Providers on Novel Coronavirus: https://www.bcsh.ca.gov/hcfc/documents/covid19_guidelines.pdf

The Episcopal Church COVID-19 page: https://episcopalchurch.org/concerning-covid19

Message from Presiding Bishop Curry: https://episcopalchurch.org/posts/publicaffairs/message-presiding-bishop-curry-related-worship-changes-during-public-health

Communications at the Office of the Bishop: communications@norcalepiscopal.org

List of Deaneries and Regional Deans: http://www.norcalepiscopal.org/deaneries

Facebook Live instructions: https://www.facebook.com/help/1636872026560015

Click here for printable version

How to livestream in four easy steps: https://youtu.be/nhnR0hahkD0 (3.5 minute video)



Assist us mercifully, O Lord,
in these our supplications and prayers,
and dispose the way of thy servants towards the
attainment of everlasting salvation; that,
among all the changes and chances of this mortal life,
they may ever be defended by thy gracious and ready help;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
BCP 832 #60



Updated Mar. 11, 2020 5:00 pm

Updated protocols and suggestions

Dear Friends,

We have updated the list of precautions and readiness strategies that the Office of the Bishop sent out last week. In this list you will find updates and additions for:

The font and standing holy water

Usher protocols for greeting and bulletins

Collecting the offering

Instructions on the common cup

Instruction to use communion stations instead of serving at the altar rail

Cleaning instructions for spaces used by people in your church

Visiting the sick, elderly or those asking for communion

Public health is divided by county in California. Please refer to your local public health department webpage.

Please share these guidelines directly with your parishioners.

This list and its additions have been created with the following values in mind.

We will support public health initiatives as they are made known

We will strive to protect the 15% who we know to be most vulnerable

We will work to slow the progression of illness through prevention and mitigation

Remember, these revisions and suggestions are in place for this time period. We can look with hope to the future when the guidelines suggested in this document will be unnecessary and we will return to our usual practices. 

Blessed is the LORD!
for he has heard the voice of my prayer.
 
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I have been helped;
Psalm 28: 7,8


Health and Safety COVID-19: Guidelines for church and home

Our Values

We will support public health initiatives as they are made known

We will strive to protect the 15% who we know to be most vulnerable

We will work to slow the progression of illness through prevention and mitigation

Bishop Megan reminds us to, “keep in our minds and our hearts, that these revisions and suggestions are in place for a time period. We can look with hope to the future when the guidelines suggested in this document will be unnecessary, and we will return to our usual practices."

General Prevention: Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands

In all situations, the best practice to prevent any illness is to wash your hands frequently using proper technique: wet-lather-scrub-rinse-dry 

https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/

In addition to frequent and thorough hand washing, use hand sanitizer as needed

At all times avoid touching your face: particularly eyes, nose, and mouth. This is how germs enter your body

When you cough, do so into your bent elbow, not your hand

If you have a fever, cough, or any congestion; or feel like you might be sick; or live with someone that is sick or exhibiting symptoms, stay home. This applies to clergy, lay ministers, musicians, and participants

If you are vulnerable to illnesses, stay home. For expert guidelines on who is at risk and should stay home: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html#who-is-higher-risk, or check with your health care provider

Share the message: download hand washing posters here: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/keep-calm-wash-your-hands_8.5x11.pdf 

Gathering and Worship Practices

Greeters and Ushers - avoid handshakes or hugs

Make sure that people use hand sanitizer upon entering the building 

Greet them with a smile (not a handshake) and a small dab of sanitizer

Place bulletins on a table and guide worshipers to pick up their own

Offering Plates - avoid passing the offering plate during your service

Have a few plates placed centrally in your worship space to collect offerings 

Make announcements that explain this new procedure

Utilize online giving  

Font and Stoup - Drain standing holy water from all containers

Do not maintain a font or open vessel of standing holy water near the entrance to or anywhere in the church

Use baptismal symbols, such as an icon of the baptism of Jesus, river rock, or even sand, to symbolize the Lenten journey, in place of water in these vessels

Passing the Peace - Use an alternative greeting to shaking hands

Bow to one another with your hands in a prayer position

Place your hands on your heart, and say “peace be with you” 

No hugs, kisses, or getting too close to each other’s faces

Teach a greeting in ASL, such as God loves you

Eucharist - Follow these steps:

All service ministers, clergy and lay, should wash hands with soap and water directly before worship

It is recommended that you use wafers instead of bread to minimize handling 

All service leaders should use hand sanitizer during the offertory

Regarding Communion Wine - Direction from Bishop Megan:

At the discretion of the Clergy-in-Charge, you may decide to serve communion in one kind

Please have a small amount of wine presented at the offertory

Pour the wine into the chalice and pray the Eucharistic Prayer, as usual, consecrating bread and wine

Leave the chalice on the altar; there to honor and represent Christ’s blood for all

No one should consume the wine during the service

It should be returned reverently to the earth following the service

Use this as a time of teaching:

about spiritual communion

of the completeness of communion in one kind

allow space for confusion or grief

No intinction or dipping is allowed

Serving Communion - Please follow these guidelines:

Serve the Eucharist from standing communion stations in front of the altar rail, avoiding contact with the rail, so as to minimize germ transmission.

If you choose to serve communion in both kinds:

If participants do not want to sip from the common cup, let them receive the bread and acknowledge the cup as they pass the chalice bearer

Do not allow dipping of bread in the wine, (intinction) as it spreads germs and is unclean. The chalice bearer will not intinct either, as this is also problematic

This is a good moment to remember a core principle of our Eucharistic theology: the sacrament is complete when administered in just one kind (in this case, the consecrated bread) 

Eucharistic Visitors and Visiting the Elderly - Weigh the benefit to risk:

Determine whether the visit is essential

Follow the General Prevention guidelines outlined at the top of this document

Do not put yourself or others at risk of getting ill

If you are feeling sick, or hear that the one your are to visit is feeling ill, don’t visit

Engage these folks with virtual visits through a phone call or video calling (FaceTime)

This may involve some teaching in how to use this technology

Work with staff and caregivers to help instruct the parishioner

Follow the recommendations of the public health departments and the care facilities in your area

Cleaning - There are several cleaning practices that should be observed:

Sanitize the altar rail after each service

Sanitize pew/chair tops after each service

Clean communion vessels thoroughly after each service with soap and hot water

Use new linen for each service

Sanitize doorknobs and push bars after each service

Sanitize all spaces after use: table tops, chairs, counter tops, etc.

Organize volunteer teams to sanitize a room after use

Require the group using the space to sanitize as a condition of using the space

Preventative measures for home and church

Be ready at home:

If you or a loved one gets sick and is asked to self-quarantine, here are some things you might want to have on hand as an extra supply:

Paper and cleaning products for your household

Canned goods and other non-perishable food items so you don’t have to go to the grocery store if you’re feeling bad. Make sure to include some treats: chocolate, coffee, tea, other comfort food items

Medicine – order an extra month’s supply of essential meds so that you don’t have to wait in line at a pharmacy, or go without if supply lines are disrupted

Extra medicines and supplies for respiratory illness

Health organization guidelines:

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Guidelines from the American Red Cross

Guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO)

We are a large diocese. Please consult your local county health department webpage for local information 

Plan for possible school closings:

Coordinate with other families for care

Have supplies on hand for continued learning and activity 

Be ready at church:

Follow the current guidelines for the prudent care of your people. In addition to the instructions to avoid intinction, those who are concerned should just receive communion in one kind: the blessed bread. After receiving the bread, simply cross your arms and acknowledge the chalice

Make sure telephone lists are up to date; especially noting those in any health frailty

Practice your parish phone tree, and make sure that you have designated leaders assigned to check in by phone with your members

We will not cancel worship. We worship God regularly, including Sunday worship, and we expect our clergy to lead Sunday worship and proclaim the Gospel. There are many parishioners who have already chosen to stay home for personal health reasons. We need to plan for this and make alternate virtual worship available as the need arises

Be ready to support prayer at home so those who need to refrain from crowds will be connected:

With a guide for simple morning prayer and daily home worship

Providing worship online through another church’s link

Streaming your own worship, so home-bound members can participate

Worship resources:

The Mission of St. Clare provides Morning and Evening Prayer online

Here is a link to their mobile apps for iPhone or iPad and Android 

Streaming Resources:

Facebook Live

printable version

FaceTime

printable version

Our communications office stands ready to help. Please email us at communications@norcalepiscopal.org with your questions

We are working with our deans and other church leaders to support one another in alternate worship possibilities and will share resources here in the coming days

At this time, we do not anticipate that you would need to close your church building. If we are asked by public health officials to cancel events, we will ask you to use virtual meetings, if possible. We encourage you to make gatherings and meetings available virtually, but that at minimum the clergy, wardens, and key lay leaders will keep our doors open and provide safe gathering spaces for those who choose to come to us. We will discuss church closures on a case by case basis in the unlikely event of a major quarantine.


Assist us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and
prayers, and dispose the way of your servants towards the
attainment of everlasting salvation; that, among all the
changes and chances of this mortal life, we may ever be
defended by your gracious and ready help; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.
BCP 832 #60



Updated Mar. 5, 2020 1:00 pm

Dear Friends in Christ,


Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty...You will not fear the terror of night,nor the arrow that flies by day,nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,nor the plague that destroys at midday.              

Ps 91:1, 5 & 6

The Psalms echo the concerns of our hearts so evocatively. The 91st Psalm has been of comfort and strength to us for thousands of years. It is very apt for those of us praying and serving through the issues with the coronavirus.


We do dwell under the shadow of God’s protective wings and these words put all of our worries into perspective. As we move through these weeks of prudent care perhaps this psalm will be our prayer; repeated after we listen to the news and if we awake in the middle of the night.

Because of the strength we receive from God, we can encourage others who may be fearful. Along with this we need practical steps in response to the virus.


Last week, we posted out some initial measures to follow as we gather in church communities, as well as at home. We practice these measures not only for our own individual health, but also to protect those who are most vulnerable to infection of any kind: those with existing health issues, the elderly, and those who for whatever reason are susceptible to respiratory viruses like this.


This week, we are expanding our message to include some readiness for ourselves at home, as well as for our church leaders: clergy, administrators, and lay leaders. Some of this will feel unnecessary, and in fact may well be premature for your context. It may be that your area will not suffer a severe outbreak of the virus and I hope that these preventative measures will not be needed.

In Christ,


Preventative measures for home and church

Be ready at home:

If you or a loved one gets sick and is asked to self-quarantine, here are some things you might want to have on hand as an extra supply:

Paper and cleaning products for your household.

Canned goods and other non-perishable food items so you don’t have to go to the grocery store if you’re feeling bad. Make sure to include some treats: chocolate, coffee, tea, other comfort food items. 

Medicine – order an extra month’s supply of essential meds so that you don’t have to wait in line at a pharmacy, or if supply lines are disrupted.

Extra medicines and supplies for respiratory illness.

Health organization guidelines:

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Guidelines from the American Red Cross

Plan for possible school closings: 

Coordinate with other families for care

Have supplies on hand for continued learning and activity 

Be ready at church:

Follow the current guidelines for the prudent care of your people. In addition to the instructions to avoid intinction, those who are concerned should just receive communion in one kind: the blessed bread. After receiving the bread, simply cross your arms and acknowledge the chalice. Read more...

Make sure telephone lists are up to date; especially noting those in any health frailty.

Practice your parish phone tree, and make sure that you have designated leaders assigned to check in by phone with your members.

We will not cancel worship. We worship God regularly, including Sunday worship, and we expect our clergy to lead Sunday worship and proclaim the Gospel. There are many parishioners who have already chosen to stay home for personal health reasons. We need to plan for this and make alternate virtual worship available as the need arises. 

Be ready to support prayer at home so those who need to refrain from crowds will be connected:

With a guide for simple morning prayer and daily home worship.

Providing worship online through another church’s link.

Streaming your own worship, so home-bound members can participate.

Worship resources:

The Mission of St. Clare provides Morning and Evening Prayer online.

Here is a link to their mobile apps for iPhone or iPad and Android

Streaming Resources:

Facebook Live

FaceTime

Our communications office stands ready to help. Please email us at communications@norcalepiscopal.org with your questions.

We are working with our deans and other church leaders to support one another in alternate worship possibilities and will share resources here in the coming days.

At this time, we do not anticipate that you would need to close your church building and cancel events. We encourage you to make gatherings and meetings available virtually, but that at minimum the clergy, wardens, and key lay leaders will keep our doors open and provide safe gathering spaces for those who choose to come to us. We will discuss church closures on a case by case basis in the unlikely event of a major quarantine.


Assist us mercifully, O Lord,
in these our supplications and prayers,
and dispose the way of thy servants towards the
attainment of everlasting salvation; that,
among all the changes and chances of this mortal life,
they may ever be defended by thy gracious and ready help;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
BCP 832 #60





Updated Feb. 28, 2020 5:00 pm

 

From Bishop Megan

Dear Friends in Christ,


In recent days we have heard of concerns about the Covid-19 virus. Over the generations the Church has been active during many kinds of illness and we always responded in prayer and appropriate action. God’s people show up! This time around our most helpful work will be to show up to each other on the phone, by text, What’s App, Skype, Zoom or FaceTime.
People ask, how do we stay safe, how do we gather and how do we help? Below you will find a set of best practices for us. They are inspired by Bishop Diane Bruce, my fellow traveler to Taiwan, and are modified for our setting in Northern California. Other resources are also listed.
Canon Andrea has been in touch with the Rev. Pamela Dolan of St. Martins, Davis, and the Very Rev. Mack Olson, our Wingfield Dean. Clergy local to this initial outbreak will be checking in together on Monday to discuss what needs might be emerging in the Solano and Yolo Counties. Canon Andrea will be on a webinar with Episcopal Relief and Development on Monday as we establish our practices in the face of this uncertain and emerging situation.
We will be in touch with our Deans and other leaders, and praying for you in the days to come.
In Christ,
+ Megan


General Prevention: Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands

In all situations, the best practice to prevent any illness is to wash your hands frequently using proper technique: wet-lather-scrub-rinse-dry. 

https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/

In addition to frequent and thorough hand washing, use hand sanitizer as needed.

At all times avoid touching your face: particularly eyes, nose, and mouth. This is how germs enter your body.

When you cough, do so into your bent elbow, not your hand.If you are sick, or feel like you might be sick, stay home.

If you are vulnerable to illnesses, stay home.

Share the message: download hand washing posters here: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/keep-calm-wash-your-hands_8.5x11.pdf

Gathering and Worship Practices

Greeters and Ushers - avoid handshakes or hugs. Make sure that people use hand sanitizer upon entering the building. Greet them with a smile (not a handshake) and a small dab of sanitizer.

Passing the Peace - bow to one another with your hands in a prayer position, or hands on your heart, and say “peace be with you.” No hugs, kisses, or getting too close to each other’s faces.

Eucharist - The Celebrant, Eucharistic Ministers, those offering healing prayers, choir members, acolytes, and all other service participants should wash hands with soap and water directly before worship. This can be a fun addition to service preparation!

All service leaders should use hand sanitizer during the offertory.

Receiving Communion - If you do not want to sip from the common cup, receive the bread and acknowledge the cup as the chalice bearer passes by. Do not dip your bread in the wine,(intinct) as studies have shown that this spreads germs. The chalice bearer should not intinct for you, as this is also problematic. This is a good moment to remember a core principle of our Eucharistic theology: the sacrament is complete when administered in just one kind (in this case, the consecrated bread.)

Bishop Diane Bruce of the Diocese of Los Angeles writes:“Up-to-date information is a good antidote for anxiety. Visit the website of the World Health Organization for frequent updates. Go to the page below and click “Protect Yourself” to find downloadable materials in Chinese, English, Spanish, and other languages as well as information about how to deal with anxiety over the disease:   

www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

The biggest lessons from my Asia visit are to use common sense, don’t be anxious, get plenty of rest, and eat as healthily as you can.”

Holy and gracious God, give us the strength to meet the health crisis looming around us. Enlighten researchers that they may discover the right vaccine against this disease. Guide the doctors, nurses and all medical technicians working with those who are infected to take correct actions for their care. Protect all medical staff and family or friends caring for those who are ill. Bring together the governments and governmental agencies around the world to work together to eradicate this health threat. All this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

© 2013 The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California.

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