Pastoral update - March 26

Posted by Fr. Kevin Bell on

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This is an update to Saint Mary's response to the Covid-19 situation.

Yesterday the Governor of the State of Colorado issued a "Stay at Home" order. This order restricts employers and employees, businesses open to the public, and travel. 

I will admit expressing concern when I heard the Governor reciting scripture, as that does not seem to be his normal practice. Unfortunately, my fears were realized when I read the text of his order. Unlike the city and County of Denver, the Governor has made no allowance for the continuation of worship services.

As someone who reveres our Constitution, this bothered me a great deal. However, after doing some research, I believe that his order seems to be constitutional provided it is enforced evenly among religious groups. (Re: American Center for Law and Justice, https://aclj.org/religious-liberty/can-the-government-close-churches-in-response-to-an-epidemic).

This may be the first time that Saint Mary’s has not been able to offer mass on a Sunday. Further, I am disheartened to note that this order extends through Holy Week and may be extended further. I would ask you to pray that the order is rescinded earlier so that we can celebrate Holy Week together.

To be clear, this means that all services are suspended through April 11. During this time I strongly urge you to remain constant in your personal prayer, in praying the Daily Offices (which you are praying in concert with the Anglican church throughout the world), and in taking time on Sunday to offer the prayers of Spiritual Communion in the document linked below to stay united with those who are still able to be physically present for the Mass. 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/dfc_attachments/public/documents/3217538/Spiritual_Communion.pdf   (From the St. Augustine’s Prayer Book - thanks David Neff for finding this online!)

During this time the State allows that I may offer “In-person pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in need of end of life services provided social distancing is observed.” This would include hearing confessions. I can also bring the Sacrament to those who so need or desire. 

We are exploring options for offering services via video streaming. If we are able to do so, we will notify the Parish and provide the proper links. 

Some additional resources for "social distancing" worship:

The Book of Common Prayer on-line: 

http://commonprayer.org/offices.cfm

Cradle of Prayer (audio of the Daily Offices):

https://cradleofprayer.org

St. Matthews Church Newport Beach (updates from Bp. Scarlett and streaming services):

Anglican Catholic Church - statement by Archbishop Haverland:

Recommended websites:

Stay safe, use reasonable precautions, and try to stay calm as well. God bless you all.

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Bell

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