As you may have heard by now, our Bishop at 7pm last evening, in response to Governor Hogan’s executive order to close all Maryland public schools from March 16-27, has directed all churches in the Diocese of Maryland to shut down public worship services beginning March 15.
What this means for All Saints’ is that public worship will cease beginning Sunday, March 15, including Sunday and Wednesday weekly worship. Call-in Morning Prayer will continue, available at 712-770-5505, code 219-716. Follow-along liturgy can be found here. We will live-stream worship service on Sundays, 10AM on Youtube. Bulletins for Sunday worship can be found on our homepage.
In addition to our spiritual offerings, Bishop Sutton has invited us to watch a live-stream of worship at the National Cathedral this Sunday at 11:15 am, when Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will be preaching.
We have also chosen to suspend all church events effective immediately. This includes all in-person meetings, both on- and off-site. We encourage our leaders to get creative, and use zoom, chat, phone, and video meetings to their advantage. Now more than ever, this is a time for us to stay connected even as we increase physical distance. If you are part of a small group or ministry, we encourage you to check in with one another.
Our building will be closed to all outside groups and rentals beginning Monday, March 16. We are giving our groups an opportunity over the weekend to connect with their participants. This decision does not come lightly, and we are striving to balance the needs of the individual groups that have found a home at All Saints’ with the needs of our wider global community.
We will communicate more details regarding staffing and pastoral emergency protocols early next week, and will re-evaluate all of these policies as more information becomes available.
May God’s loving embrace quell our anxiety and inspire us to care for one another, and all those in need in our wider community.
Yours in God’s peace,
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O God of compassion, giver of life and health, we pray your healing mercies upon all who are in any way affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Comfort and sustain those who have been stricken; relieve their pain, and restore to them your gifts of gladness and strength. Grant to all in authority the courage to make wise decisions that are essential for the common good, and strengthen them to lead institutions that care for those whom they serve. Watch over all first responders and those in the medical professions whose duty it is to care for the sick; guard them from all danger, and keep them safe in the knowledge that is through their sacrifice and service that the health of the whole community is promoted. Mercifully accept these our prayers, O God of all comfort, and our only help in time of need. Amen.