Dear Friends of the Redeemer,
Yesterday, clergy and wardens across the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts received a pastoral message from our bishops with updated pandemic guidance. The bishops offered gratitude to parishes for their work in responding to the deep challenges of this moment. In addition, they provided new guidelines for us including the following:
"All churches are now urged in the strongest possible terms to suspend in-person, indoor worship. This expectation is in effect for the foreseeable future, as steps continue to be taken across the country to curtail the dramatic rise of coronavirus infections."
Though neither Newton nor Brookline have entered the "Red Zone" regarding transmission and infection rates, I am suspending indoor worship for the time being. We have worked so very hard these last months to create the safest indoor worship environment possible going far beyond episcopal guidelines and state mandates. To date we have received no notice from public health officials regarding COVID cases traceable to our outdoor or indoor worship services since regathering in September. However, we will return to our outdoor worship pattern for the 11:30am service beginning this Sunday, November 22, 2020.
As I have said from the beginning and as you are all now more than well aware, the pandemic presents a fluid situation of ever-changing variables. This means balancing the call to public worship against the pastoral responsibility to keep each other safe. I am saddened to say the least, and the decision was no easy thing. So good Christian friends, bundle up Sunday morning and join us for Morning Prayer in the back parking lot at 11:30am or the Family service at 12:45pm. Please make sure to sign-up for either or both.
Faithfully and Fondly,