Deans' Note Mar. 14, 2021

This weekend marks the anniversary of our first online service without a congregation present. The last Sunday we worshipped in person was March 8, 2020. A year later we are slowly moving toward returning to some forms of worshipping together, even though we were able to have outdoor services for a time in the fall.

Now as vaccinations are moving through the population and Covid caseloads and death are declining, thankfully, we see a clearer way ahead. So next Sunday, March 21 we will again celebrate our 8:00 mass outdoors in person with appropriate measures for health protection. We will maintain physical distance, wear masks at all times (you may consider double-masking), receive communion in only one kind (consecrated bread). We also ask you to make a reservation by emailing or phoning the church office before Sunday morning since we have limited seating capacity.

This is the first step of a long process to bring us back into a physical community. We know that some of us are eager to be back in a setting of physical worship at church. Others of us are not so sure the time is right for us. That is a decision only you can make for yourself. We will continue to offer digital worship not only throughout this transition period but ongoing.

You may feel it's difficult to again step out into something like a normal life. There are no ways you "should" feel during this time. The world has changed since last March and while we can't go backward, we can go forward into a hopeful future. This is not unlike other experiences of loss where we need to re-engage the world around us. It may take time.

As we move through Lent and anticipate Holy Week and Easter, use this time to examine your own emotions and loss, along with new insights you have gained and hopes for the coming months. Please let us know if you want to talk through any of these things with us as your pastors.

The future really does hold hope. Life follows death, joy will follow sadness for all of us, even if you may not see it yet. Healing is coming.