CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION & RESPONSE

Update from the Rector

Dear People of God at St Stephen’s,

What a week this has been for all of us as we’ve heard about closure after closure of businesses, schools, our favorite theaters and musical venues, restaurants, festivals, and sporting events in response to this COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the governor’s direction and the public health requirements, in conversation with clergy, and in deep discernment and prayer over the decision, the Bishop has decided to require the cancellation of all services and gatherings at all congregations in the Diocese of Olympia.

Just to be clear about this announcement:  St Stephen’s is closed to all public gatherings, events, and activities including worship services, all meetings, outside groups meeting at St Stephen’s, Kid’s Place, and any other scheduled groups on our calendar. 

I never thought I would see the day when I would have to make such an announcement, and it breaks my heart not to gather in worship with all the people I’ve come to love and care for as St Stephen’s Church. This closure will have a great impact on us all. It seems strange, goes counter to what many believe the church should be doing, and raises all kinds of questions for us all.

But we are still the Church together throughout all of this, and we will find creative ways to be that Church.

Watch for links to online worship services, ways we can stay connected, and ways we can respond with care and compassion in our community.

All of this will take a bit of time to put together, and our first attempts will be just that – things we will try, see what works and what doesn’t work, and try again. So if we don’t quite get it on the first attempt, hang tight. We’ll keep working at it. As my coach used to say: “keep running that play ‘til you get it right.”

We will get through these trying and challenging times. Perhaps we will come out even stronger as a community of faith for having to address those challenges. We enter this future not knowing where we go, but only that God’s hand is leading us and God’s love is supporting us.

As always, your companion of the journey,

Robert+

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