When I started my Weekly Reflections in March, we’d just begun living with the new reality of shuttered businesses, closed places of worship, and shelter-in-place orders. More than six weeks have now passed, and across the nation and state, we are seeing a relaxation of the restrictions on businesses and the gradual ending of many shelter-in-place rules.
Local rules vary widely, and earlier this week, I published my Phase Two Pastoral Direction for Clergy and Parishes of The Episcopal Church in West Missouri to outline our diocese’s plan for moving cautiously forward towards reopening our buildings and resuming in-person activities.
At this week’s Diocesan Staff meeting, I announced my intention to reopen the diocesan offices on May 18 but to maintain appropriate physical distancing and associated precautions, with due allowance for anyone concerned for their health or ‘at risk’ to opt to continue to work remotely.
In my first Weekly Reflection, way back in March, I said my online Weekly Reflections were offered for two purposes: 1.) to keep everyone aware of the development of our diocesan COVID-19 response plan, and 2.) to offer a Biblical and spiritual reflection on the current pandemic. I indicated that I’d keep making the recordings as long as the shelter-in-place orders remained. Since many jurisdictions are lifting these orders, I am going to discontinue recording further Weekly Reflections. Should our circumstances change, I’ll review the need to recommence recording my Weekly Reflections. In the meantime, we’ll continue with the weekly, emailed News Update until the end of May. We will then decide if a return to our previous twice-monthly publishing schedule for the News Update is appropriate.
Be blessed. Stay well. Serve God and one another.