A pastoral message from Bishop Megan

A pastoral message from Bishop Megan Traquair

Bishop Megan Traquair

“Our worship and connection during this time is a beautiful
and fragrant offering that is pleasing to God.
Thank you for your ministry during
this most difficult time.”

We are planning for the return to our buildings and in person gatherings:

Timeline for your planning purposes, please plan to worship on-line through at least May 31, 2020

Plan for a phased return to our buildings, and in person gatherings

The phased guidelines will follow the CDC and public health guidelines from the State of California and will include input from the regional deans, the leaders of our governing bodies, and the presiding bishop’s office

A return to our buildings will likely include wearing masks and maintaining physical distance between individuals

Planning for the future, you may start thinking through the implications of these kinds of restrictions, and what this may mean for your ushers, musicians, cleaning crews, and other leaders

Details on the phases, along with specific worship and gathering guidelines, will be issued in the upcoming weeks

Canon Andrea McMillin

Dear Friends,

As Bishop Megan noted in this recent pastoral message, our online worship during this time has been faithful, well attended, beautiful, and a fragrant offering to God. We do want to count how many people are attending our services even in this time of dispersed and virtual worship. Each person who attends our services is a heart touched, a life changed, a family that is more deeply rooted in our church community.

As we gather online to worship, dispersed yet connected, we need new ways to record these numbers in our formal register of church services.

The register book is an official record of the services in your church, describing what official acts are offered, and a record of how many are physically present for those services. That book must be filled in with accurate data: date, service, physical location (the church or a private home) and number of people present in that location.

If you are leading worship from your home, this might be: Morning Prayer, private home, 2 persons in attendance. From the church it might be: Holy Eucharist, church, 3 persons in attendance. In the memo section of the register, record that this is an online service. If you are pre-recording the service, please note the date that the recording took place, as well as the date that the service is offered online, as one entry with two related dates. This is an accurate representation of the event that took place.

The link below takes you to an auxiliary form for you to use for each service that you hold online, so that you may record attendance in those virtual, online, services – data that is new and not readily recorded in the categories provided in our church register. The Office of the Bishop has borrowed this document from the Diocese of Olympia (thanks friends!). You will see in this form a means to track the type of worship (Morning Prayer, Eucharist, etc.) and the type of virtual reach (Zoom, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Pre-recorded, etc.). We have also included particular metrics for Live-streaming/Pre-recorded Premiere or for Zoom.


If you are not sure how to find the metrics for the platform you are using, here are links to info for each:

If you are using a different virtual technology or finding different tracking metrics that have been useful for you, please let us know what you’re discovering. And if you are still struggling after viewing info at these links, please be in touch with our office – with Jay Elmquist at jay@norcalepiscopal.org or myself.

We are all doing church in new ways, and this is the beginning of a journey into uncharted waters. Let us continue to gather together as the church, and proclaim the risen Christ to this world that is seeking new life.

Your sister in Christ,

The Rev. Canon Andrea McMillin