Dear Clergy and Lay Leadership,
Greetings to all of you along with your Parishes/Missions, as we celebrate this first week after Easter Sunday. I want to thank so many of you who have copied me on your parish activities via newsletters and other postings. It is critical, as most of you know, to stay in touch with your parishioners either by phone or notices. We are in uncertain times and the news isn’t always clear as to what may happen next, not only across our country but also in our local areas.
I know from contacts with numbers of Clergy that there is a strong desire to get things back to normal and their ideas as to how to do this. I think at this point, we need to be patient as we become more aware that at least in certain parts of our country the Coronavirus seems to be abating and receding. Indications are that when there is a Phase 1 lifting of some of the meeting restrictions along with the opening of certain businesses, we can begin to make plans for Services and Activities. You can be certain however, the guidelines such as social distancing and handwashing will still remain in place. I urge all of our Clergy and Leadership to abide by the directives of our National Leadership as well as your state and local officials.
Looking ahead, it is important you get your registrations completed for our Provincial and Diocesan Synods the week of August 3-7, 2020. Archdeacon Zwingert and All Saints’ Church, Mills River, N.C. are hosting the events and after checking with him, everything is on track for the stated dates and there will be no cancelation of the booked Hotel. The only cancelation considered by any hotel would be a national disaster. We can reasonably assume the current pandemic will hopefully be a distant memory by that time. So, in spite of our current situation, plans are ongoing and we will be looking forward to a wonderful and very successful time at our Synods. The past years of having Synods in Western North Carolina have always been pleasant with many interesting and exciting local attractions. It will be something to truly look forward to after the homebound restrictions of our present time. Although there will be plenty of business to be taken care of, it will be a great time of fellowship and renewal of friendships.
Just a reminder to our Churches, if you anticipate the need for financial assistance because of the Coronavirus, the small business loan program will hopefully still be available from your local banks. The original amount designated by Congress for this funding has been loaned, however, the President is asking for more funds for small businesses. Churches do qualify. Please keep track of this locally as it can be used for rent, mortgage and for church salaries.
Finally, on a personal note, my wife Mary’s son Timothy lost his wife Heidi on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, after being taken to the hospital. She lost consciousness and was rushed to the hospital but died within a few hours. There is still no known cause however they have done an autopsy on Thursday and we are awaiting results. The medical providers said it was not due to the coronavirus. Please pray for the blessed repose of Heidi and the comfort of the Holy Spirit for Timothy and family.
Blessing to you all,