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I posted above that DD was to be baptized today, and then posted that our church was canceled (technically, they're switching to a streaming service for now.) Anyway, we had family coming in for

Have you read any of the accounts from Italian hospitals?  People are being left in the hallways to die because some hospitals are operating at 200+% capacity and there are simply no rooms or medical

If we can slow the spread of Covid-19 through social distancing we can potentially save thousands or even millions of lives--by not having it spread exponentially through the population and overwhelm

We go to church regularly (25 years) that has in attendance in person on any given Sunday approx 2500 people, maybe 3000.  That's in the sanctuary.  That does not include the other buildings for preschool, kids, middle and high school.  Folks greet others positioned nearby with a handshake many times.  Our pastor advised no touching right now.   And, he did cancel services for tomorrow, Sunday.  He'll go and preach from the pulpit and our choir will be present but the congregation has been told to not come to the church campus b/c the doors will be locked.  The service will be live-streamed tomorrow.  Well, it has been every Sunday for awhile as we have people from around the world who "attend" via on-line services.   So, we'll have "church service" but not in our church "building" tomorrow.  Who knows if that will carry over in the weeks ahead.  Our local school district is advancing spring break from mid-April to now include 2 teacher work days March 19 and 20 and spring break March 23 - 27.   

What a mess!  

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I wish our church would cancel. I feel like there is a lack of real concern for what is going on. I also feel like my family has to go if services are on, because we have various responsibilities. 😞 And I don't want to go.

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This is the official statement from our metopolitan: https://antiochian.org/regulararticle/619

I'm OK with it.  Our parish has about 80 people, very few old people and our state has only 1 case so far.

I haven't been attending any of the Lenten services because I can't figure out if I have allergies or the longest-lasting cold in history (allergy meds only take care of like 75% of it). 

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17 hours ago, ScoutTN said:

One of our pastors and several other church members have the virus. Everything is cancelled. The building is closed. 

The church where my AHG troop meets has closed their building. 

 

I'm so sorry to hear this!!

our church has cancelled all services and all activities, which I think is wise since we have an older population which is at risk. Some are gathering in small groups in their homes, but I don't think we will even do that because of  my mom's fragile health. I don't want to risk giving her something.

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2 hours ago, Jaybee said:

I wish our church would cancel. I feel like there is a lack of real concern for what is going on. I also feel like my family has to go if services are on, because we have various responsibilities. 😞 And I don't want to go.

(hugs)

I teach kids who often attend while ill (after class: "how'd Johnny do?  He was throwing up last night.").  I was honestly relieved when our bishop cancelled.

It really truly isn't fear to not meet in person!  The church can be clever about this and "meet" other ways.

More (hugs)

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My diocese finally posted a statement, and it is NOT good enough. we have multiple cases in this diocese! They could totally suspend communion services and go to morning prayer instead - that was the norm for many many many decades if not centuries within the Episcopal/Anglican tradition. There is ZERO reason not to do that now. Ridiculous. And they aren't even stopping the common cup. http://www.cfdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Coronavirus-Communion-and-the-Diocese-of-Central-Florida-3-4-20.pdf

 

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3 hours ago, PeachyDoodle said:

Our services are definitely still on. Not sure how I feel about that.

We are 100% on board with self-isolating in the interest of protecting those around us. But what good does that do if a large percentage of the community isn't participating? It's the same with things like the TP shortage: we purposely didn't buy TP early in the week when we shopped because we didn't need any at the moment and didn't want to contribute to causing a shortage. But now, although we are still fine for the time being, there isn't a square to spare in our town. Hopefully a shipment arrives before we run out.

When dh asked about services, our pastor (whom I dearly love, don't get me wrong) quoted the commandment about the Sabbath to him. But what about the commandment against murder? Our catechism interprets that as a prohibition against doing anything that will hurt or harm our neighbor's body. Christians have historically been known as those who are willing to rush in to aid others in a crisis, even at risk to their own life and limb. But what happens when the best possible way we can help is to STAY AWAY? I don't like the insinuation that those of us who are trying to help by self-isolating (or as one of the memes in the other thread put it, being exiled for the good of the realm 😆) are just giving in to panic and fear. I am not afraid for myself or even my kids; I just want to protect my neighbor. How does that make me a bad Christian?

I'd be quoting some choice passages right back! Starting with love thy neighbor, hitting on what you do for the least of these (like self isolate!!), and ending on the sabbath being made for man, not man for the sabbath. Ugh. 

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3 hours ago, PeachyDoodle said:

the insinuation that those of us who are trying to help by self-isolating

Our bishop has been very clear that we are not to judge the motives or reasons of others in attending or not attending.  "Not judging another"-- I think I've read that somewhere before....now who was it that said that? :::hmmmm:::  The bishop also said that we had to be careful to live into love and not stigmatize those who do end up ill, and to find ways to keep in community as much as we can.   Our parish and general area have cancelled almost all the services except Divine Liturgy--and that is saying a lot, considering that it is Lent--and we are small in number and can do the social distancing (especially given that so many will be absent for the foreseeable future).

I'm always tempted to show off how strong and healthy I am.  I want to go to church just to show I CAN!  I'm so STRONG!  The fact is, I am in the target group (60+, immuno-compromised) and so maybe it is time for me to just be obedient and just stay home.  And say my prayers.

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18 minutes ago, Patty Joanna said:

I'm always tempted to show off how strong and healthy I am.  I want to go to church just to show I CAN!  I'm so STRONG!  The fact is, I am in the target group (60+, immuno-compromised) and so maybe it is time for me to just be obedient and just stay home.  And say my prayers.

I think I'm being over-sensitive. I am sure our pastor meant to comforting, not judgmental. But I do think there is a lot of this going on too. I suppose it's human nature to want to be the one who is strong and brave and bold. And sometimes that is the right thing to do. I think of the stories of clergy and people of faith in past pandemics who nursed the sick and cared for the dying and bereaved spiritually without a thought for their own well-being. And that is truly admirable. But those were times when people did not have the knowledge and capacity to prevent those people from becoming sick in the first place. Saving someone from a burning building is brave; lighting the house on fire in an attempt to keep the inhabitants warm is just reckless.

ETA: But I'm still frustrated because it seems like our staying home for a Sunday or two will do nothing to keep others safe when everybody else is going about business as usual. But I suppose I can only be responsible for my own actions and answer to my own conscience.

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Our church (conservative Protestant, liturgical) doesn't do video, so the pastor sent home a very nice liturgy for home worship, complete with both piano music and guitar chords for the hymns. Parts to read or lead for several people. Looking forward to a relaxed morning and a sweet family worship time.  

Here is a link if anyone could use a resource. The service begins on p.3. 

Edited by ScoutTN
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1 hour ago, PeachyDoodle said:

I think of the stories of clergy and people of faith in past pandemics who nursed the sick and cared for the dying and bereaved spiritually without a thought for their own well-being.

This is different.  They are doing good.  I would be doing no good to anyone else...just prideful...to attend.  My joke is that I want to go so no one thinks I am over 60.   :::cue chuckles:::   There is a grain (or a gallon) of truth in humor though...   

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Just sent this email to my church. I'm still so upset about this. We have a large portion of our congregatin that is elderly! And they are not only canceling, they are keeping the common cup, keeping communion where people kneel side by side in inches of each other, etc. I'm flabbergasted. 

I appreciate that St. Michael's does not want to encourage a spirit of fear. But after reading the letter you have sent, and watching the Bishop's video, i'm very concerned that the church is going to become a vector of transmission. At this point, we know that the virus is spread via droplets, which may travel up to 6 ft. Which means just sitting within that distance of a person, or kneeling within that distance of them at the communion rail, or being that near while filing into or out of the building, is close enough for transmission. The initial evidence also shows that it can live on hard surfaces, like pews, pencils in the pews, the plate that is passed from person to person, etc for up to several days. And most concerning, there is evidence that those with no symptoms at all are able to spread the virus, and may in fact have a higher viral load and be more able to spread it than those that are symptomatic. So just asking the sick to stay home, and for people to maybe not shake hands, is still providing plenty of ways for it to spread within the congregation, and for those people to then take it home and spread it throughout the community at large. 

Again, I understand that we should not be fearful. But we are also called to love our neighbor. We are our brother's keeper. We must care for the least of these. And we do not care for them, or love them, by gathering together in close quarters during a pandemic. We all want to gather, to worship, to receive the body and blood, but I can't help but feel that the harder option - to limit social contact as much as possible -  is the right one, the loving one, the Christian one. There is SO much misinformation being spread, and some of the most vulnerable to this illness - the elderly - are also the least savvy when it comes to evaluating things they hear and see on social media. They are relying on their pastors, their shepherd, to lead them, to advise them. And yet the church has not said that those at risk should stay home, or that we all should, in order to protect our brothers and sisters in Christ. 
I'd love to see the church send out information on how to pray the daily office at home, how to watch the service from home, or at the very least to move to morning prayer instead of a communion. Many many churches are doing these kinds of things, to protect the vulnerable. 
 
I realize that you have many competing considerations, but I felt the need to say something, out of concern for the community. 
 
I'll be praying for you, and the parish, and the church as a whole
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This just came from my priest.  It's from the head of the Orthodox Church in America:    "Everyone in the parish or mission, other than the priest(s) (and deacon(s)), a reader, a server, and a limited number of chanters or singers (all of whom are physically strong and at low risk for COVID-19), is encouraged to remain at home, even at the time of the Divine Liturgy."  

All other services and programs are cancelled except Sunday liturgies and Weds. Lenten liturgies.   Everyone is encouraged to watch services via live-stream.  

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Okay, I know I am harping here, so y'all feel free to put me on Ignore (temporarily or otherwise 😄 ). I just don't have anywhere else I feel I can say these things right now.

Now the argument I'm seeing everywhere is "we have to obey God rather than man." Which I don't get AT. ALL. In my state at least, we haven't been ordered not to worship God, or to do or not do anything else. The governor has ASKED us to refrain from gathering in large groups in order to protect the most vulnerable among us. It's called a ban, but I mean really, it's not like the SWAT team is going to bust through the church doors tomorrow morning and start counting heads.

Even though I belong to a denomination that is highly liturgical, and emphasizes the importance of meeting together and receiving God's gifts of Word and sacrament regularly, and even though I believe in all those things AND am also a pretty staunch libertarian, I can't for the life of me figure out how a temporary, voluntary hiatus is so egregious as to constitute sinful disobedience to God. Especially when technology allows for us to continue to do a lot (not all) of the things we currently do.

The more I read, the more it appears that a certain subset of people seem to view this virus and its attendant response as some kind of conspiracy to stir up panic for... some reason I can't name? So I guess I shouldn't be surprised they react this way if they see a power grab lurking around every corner. 

I need the old /rant off/ emoji back!

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2 hours ago, PeachyDoodle said:

Okay, I know I am harping here, so y'all feel free to put me on Ignore (temporarily or otherwise 😄 ). I just don't have anywhere else I feel I can say these things right now.

Now the argument I'm seeing everywhere is "we have to obey God rather than man." Which I don't get AT. ALL. In my state at least, we haven't been ordered not to worship God, or to do or not do anything else. The governor has ASKED us to refrain from gathering in large groups in order to protect the most vulnerable among us. It's called a ban, but I mean really, it's not like the SWAT team is going to bust through the church doors tomorrow morning and start counting heads.

Even though I belong to a denomination that is highly liturgical, and emphasizes the importance of meeting together and receiving God's gifts of Word and sacrament regularly, and even though I believe in all those things AND am also a pretty staunch libertarian, I can't for the life of me figure out how a temporary, voluntary hiatus is so egregious as to constitute sinful disobedience to God. Especially when technology allows for us to continue to do a lot (not all) of the things we currently do.

The more I read, the more it appears that a certain subset of people seem to view this virus and its attendant response as some kind of conspiracy to stir up panic for... some reason I can't name? So I guess I shouldn't be surprised they react this way if they see a power grab lurking around every corner. 

I need the old /rant off/ emoji back!

Sometimes I really struggle with my desire to be in church and receive the Mysteries and staying home.  In our tradition we believe that the Eucharist is life-giving and for the "healing of soul and body".   But, as one wise older lady said this week, "I know that communion is life-giving, but I don't have the same confidence in those around me."   

There's also a Russian proverb that goes, "Pray but keep rowing."   I think this pertains to this situation too... we should definitely continue to pray and keep our faith, but we should also be wise and heed the warnings.  We shouldn't just do one OR the other.  

Edited by PrincessMommy
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1 hour ago, PrincessMommy said:

This just came from my priest.  It's from the head of the Orthodox Church in America:    "Everyone in the parish or mission, other than the priest(s) (and deacon(s)), a reader, a server, and a limited number of chanters or singers (all of whom are physically strong and at low risk for COVID-19), is encouraged to remain at home, even at the time of the Divine Liturgy."  

All other services and programs are cancelled except Sunday liturgies and Weds. Lenten liturgies.   Everyone is encouraged to watch services via live-stream.  

I don't think this is for the entire OCA. I think this is just the Diocese of the South. 

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Just got back from church. It's still on but will be decided week by week. It was fairly quiet, probably near half the congregation missing  Playgroup held at church is cancelled. Our homeschool group is held there fortnightly and I don't know what the plan is for that yet (my decision, which I'll make next week)

For now what they've decided to do is:

Cancel morning tea/coffee/biscuits after the service. An updated cleaning plan. Door greeters make sure you get hand sanitizer on the way in. Social distancing etc. One of our congregants is a doctor and gave a talk, honestly she is more worried than I would have liked...

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Well, things have evolved rapidly. The archbishop issued a dispensation lifting the Sunday Mass obligation. Our parochial vicar did a youtube video strongly requesting anyone elderly or immune compromised stay home. They won't be passing the collection baskets, the holy water fonts have been drained, there will be no sign of peace and if you want to receive communion in your mouth you must wait until the end of the line. He even gave a very decent explanation of flattening the curve. That's a big turnaround from Thursday.

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20 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I don't think this is for the entire OCA. I think this is just the Diocese of the South. 

This came from my priest via Met. Tikhon.  I'm in the DC metro area.   I had heard at Vespers that the South was doing this.  When I got home our priest had sent out a parish-wide email with Met. Tikhon's directive.   I assume Met. Tikhon is instituting this for the entire US.  I could be wrong though - Met. Tikhon is technically our bishop.   So it could just be for our Archdiocese.  

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What I think some churches are not getting, is that just sitting next to someone in a pew, or touching a pew someone else breathed on earlier in the day, or being in line for communion, is a risk of transmission. 

You can sanitize your hands at the door on the way in, then touch your eyes or nose before you hit the pew, then touch the pew as you manuver in, then the person behind you does the same, and voila. 

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15 minutes ago, PrincessMommy said:

This came from my priest via Met. Tikhon.  I'm in the DC metro area.   I had heard at Vespers that the South was doing this.  When I got home our priest had sent out a parish-wide email with Met. Tikhon's directive.   I assume Met. Tikhon is instituting this for the entire US.  I could be wrong though - Met. Tikhon is technically our bishop.   So it could just be for our Archdiocese.  

Thanks for the clarification. I haven't seen anything from our bishop about this. I'm in the Diocese of the West. 

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I am in a setting right now that is very far removed from my everyday life as an American.  From where I sit, through the window I can see a church steeple and hear the tolling of the bells.  These bells have tolled for centuries, celebrating baptisms, warning of dangers such as wars, calling the community to worship, and notifying of deaths from many causes, including plagues.  The cemetery surrounding the church serves as the burial place of those who died from accidents, wars, flus, and plagues.  It has served as a place of sanctuary for many generations.  There is a powerful message of the providence and reign of God.  In a time of fear, worry, and uncertainty, some people want to be reminded of that message and feel the peace of being surrounding by God's community.  

I think the big question to wrestle with is "How does the church serve as the light of the world rather than appearing as a dark, closed, empty place until times are better?"  

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13 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

I'd be quoting some choice passages right back! Starting with love thy neighbor, hitting on what you do for the least of these (like self isolate!!), and ending on the sabbath being made for man, not man for the sabbath. Ugh. 

I brought up love thy neighbor and got the retreat training that was supposed to be held Saturday canceled.  It seems like our city and the adjoining city is taking things very seriously but to the west of us, things aren't the same.  That person in charge was to the west of us.  The Kiwanis in a city west of us but in our town had a two day pancake breakfast fundraiser and the news reported that thousands attended yesterday.

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38 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

I am in a setting right now that is very far removed from my everyday life as an American.  From where I sit, through the window I can see a church steeple and hear the tolling of the bells.  These bells have tolled for centuries, celebrating baptisms, warning of dangers such as wars, calling the community to worship, and notifying of deaths from many causes, including plagues.  The cemetery surrounding the church serves as the burial place of those who died from accidents, wars, flus, and plagues.  It has served as a place of sanctuary for many generations.  There is a powerful message of the providence and reign of God.  In a time of fear, worry, and uncertainty, some people want to be reminded of that message and feel the peace of being surrounding by God's community.  

I think the big question to wrestle with is "How does the church serve as the light of the world rather than appearing as a dark, closed, empty place until times are better?"  

By doing charitable things that do not involve close contact like for the healthy to continue to help with Meals on wheels (which thankfully is continuing), donations to food banks, being avialable for tele- counseling, etc.

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We’ve lived in places where we could only meet in small groups or in our own home for church, either because there weren’t other members of our denomination nearby or because of government restrictions on church meetings.  It’s kind of odd to be going back to that now, and thinking of people in the US doing that.  Our friends always thought it was so weird and unique when we had church at home or through zoom. Now they’re doing it. 🙂

If you’re missing church today, try to find ways to stay connected with God and with each other.  This is just a small moment, and there are good things that can happen because of it.

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The Coptic Church here in Egypt is shutting down any extra things, but they’re increasing the number daily masses to reduce the number of people attending at any one time.

I love Lent and Easter here, so this is sad for me.  But inevitable.  I wonder how they will handle Holy Week and Easter.

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Our diocese has given a dispensation but the letter reads that only those who show signs of sickness or at increased risk should stay home. Everyone else should just not touch people. As of now we have 1 case in our diocese. We went to church last night, there were only 8 other people attending besides our family (it is a very small church). Every family has their own pew(and there is only 1 service for the entire week) and our spread apart in church, we did not touch anyone. I wish they would move to online services for the diocese so we didn't have to worry about it. My priest seems to take it as a personal affront we are doing anything at all, since it isn't bad here, we are worried too soon when of course the whole point is to stop things from getting so bad in the first place.

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I am sitting by the fire right now.  I should be in church.  My son was asked to help serve communion this week, and he had to tell the church that we would not be there for a while.

I attend a Protestant Church of about 300 members in a metropolitan area.  Our church cancelled all small group activities, such as Sunday school classes, yet decided to meet as normal for our large worship service.??

I have been in touch with a couple of my elderly friends who have decided to stay home to protect their own health. I am so happy that they have made a wise decision about this, but I am worried for those who will choose to go as long as the doors remain open.

All this to say...my heart hurts this morning. I almost feel as if my faith is being tested...we are trying to prove who is the stronger Christian...who won’t ‘neglect assembly’.  I know that the Lord is with me right now, in this room, and yet I feel such guilt!

Hugs to all who are struggling with this.  May the peace of the Lord be with us all.

Edited by Hadley
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3 hours ago, TravelingChris said:

By doing charitable things that do not involve close contact like for the healthy to continue to help with Meals on wheels (which thankfully is continuing), donations to food banks, being avialable for tele- counseling, etc.

My county's Council on Aging has temporarily suspended Meals on Wheels. I hope there are backups in place. 

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Our small church is still meeting.  I'm frustrated because our church is full of elderly and high risk people.  I think the deacons and Pastor should have made the decision easier for them by cancelling.  (And my dh is one of the deacons!  ). I'm praying for a good attitude as I head out the door.  On Wednesday night after I mentioned not shaking hands, our pastor went down our pew and shook my kids hands with a laugh.  I really have a bad attitude this morning 😞

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Our church created a medical group early in this to help the elders and staff make decisions. Several docs who are infectious disease specialists are on it.

They clearly get the "flatten the curve" objective. Nobody wants to see Italy's scenario reproduced here!!

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I should be finishing teaching Sunday School and heading to Mass, but here I am at home. Though I am not too worried about DH, our kids, or myself, I don't want to be someone who passes it unknowingly. So, though I don't like missing Mass, I am trying to do things I can to flatten the curve.

Yet, I am sure my older mom attended Mass today, after having returned from an out of state trip yesterday. 

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Just finished watching a livestream of services at our church.  The minister was there, the music director, and someone is running the video.  I'm glad they were able to get this together so fast - we only made the decision to cancel on Tuesday, and it's looking ever more like it was the right decision.

I think we're trying to get some kind of contact circles going to check in on our elderly members and maybe do shopping or prescription runs for them.

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6 hours ago, Amira said:

We’ve lived in places where we could only meet in small groups or in our own home for church, either because there weren’t other members of our denomination nearby or because of government restrictions on church meetings.  It’s kind of odd to be going back to that now, and thinking of people in the US doing that.  Our friends always thought it was so weird and unique when we had church at home or through zoom. Now they’re doing it. 🙂

If you’re missing church today, try to find ways to stay connected with God and with each other.  This is just a small moment, and there are good things that can happen because of it.

This post and being at home this morning reminds me that public, corporate worship is a privilege and a treasure that we in America ought not to take for granted. 

So many of our brothers and sisters around the world, now and in times past, have met only as families or small groups because of hostile government or culture. Or simply because they are/were so few in number. We should be in prayer for the persecuted church, tiny fledgling churches, and those homebound by illness or complexities of aging. God is not hindered by these circumstances, but they can be hard for the people in them!

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I posted above that DD was to be baptized today, and then posted that our church was canceled (technically, they're switching to a streaming service for now.)

Anyway, we had family coming in for DD's baptism and we didn't want to postpone indefinitely...so here we were, last night at the lake. We did have a few friends (and my parents) join us. (Don't quote pic, will later delete.)

 

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Our church is still meeting. I think that OCA directive PrincessMommy referenced does not apply to our Diocese. But we made the decision not to attend until this is over. I do not have confidence that the other members are taking adequate protections to keep our family safe. Our parish is full of anti-vaxxers and people who think everyone is overreacting to this. These are not the kinds of people you can trust in a pandemic. 

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Alisoncooks,

Thank you so much for sharing.  Your picture brings tears to my eyes.  Please welcome your daughter to the family for me!  What a beautiful sight.  Praise the Lord!!!

My uncle baptized me in a lake when I was 12.  It’s one of my most cherished memories, and you just brought it back to me.

May your daughter always walk with the Lord.

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7 hours ago, soror said:

Our diocese has given a dispensation but the letter reads that only those who show signs of sickness or at increased risk should stay home. Everyone else should just not touch people.

OUr diocese said the same. It isn't enough. At all. Ugh. 

5 hours ago, JanOH said:

Our small church is still meeting.  I'm frustrated because our church is full of elderly and high risk people.  I think the deacons and Pastor should have made the decision easier for them by cancelling.  (And my dh is one of the deacons!  ). I'm praying for a good attitude as I head out the door.  On Wednesday night after I mentioned not shaking hands, our pastor went down our pew and shook my kids hands with a laugh.  I really have a bad attitude this morning 😞

This! in my letter I said that their job is to shepherd the flock, to protect and guide, and they are failing to do that right now. They need to do the hard thing and cancel services. I'm struggling REALLY badly with my just HUGE feelings of anger at the utter lack of leadership amongst the churches in this area right now. Just...really hurt and betrayed and angry. I have left pointed facebook messages and an email, and I did warn the women in the mom's group at one I used to attend. they seem to get it. 

But the pastors and bishops are just..not. And yeah, I have big feelings about that. 

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Our church is still meeting. I think that OCA directive PrincessMommy referenced does not apply to our Diocese. But we made the decision not to attend until this is over. I do not have confidence that the other members are taking adequate protections to keep our family safe. Our parish is full of anti-vaxxers and people who think everyone is overreacting to this. These are not the kinds of people you can trust in a pandemic. 

If you want to watch, our parish live-streams its services and keeps them on Youtube.  PM me for the link if you want.  

 

Edited by PrincessMommy
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Things were much more serious this morning but we realized after the service when our deacons were discussing whether to even come back tonight that our Pastor had honestly never even thought about shutting down.  He had tears in his eyes hearing the deacons even consider it 

He just called and tonight's service will be a song service followed by an open discussion if what to do.  He's really been mentally whalloped by this so now I feel badly for not being very sympathetic with my earlier post.

I realized on the way home that our Deacon's families had been more directly affected than he had earlier in the week.  Both involved in educational institutions that have been shut down.  It wasn't on his radar that the church would need to shut down, too.  There are less than 10 of us that aren't in a high risk group.  Even our Pastor is diabetic and over 70 so at risk.  I'm guessing we'll be shut down after tonight.  I'm going to go early tonight and do what I can to sanitize before the service.

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Our church tried to live stream the service today on Facebook Live with just the pastors and worship team (music) physically there. Several hundred people logged in, but it keep pausing or buffering. Most people just said they would watch the video later.

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1 hour ago, Hadley said:

Alisoncooks,

Thank you so much for sharing.  Your picture brings tears to my eyes.  Please welcome your daughter to the family for me!  What a beautiful sight.  Praise the Lord!!!

My uncle baptized me in a lake when I was 12.  It’s one of my most cherished memories, and you just brought it back to me.

May your daughter always walk with the Lord.

Thank you!

The guy doing the dunking is DH.🙂 DD will be 12 this summer. 

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23 minutes ago, JanOH said:

Things were much more serious this morning but we realized after the service when our deacons were discussing whether to even come back tonight that our Pastor had honestly never even thought about shutting down.  He had tears in his eyes hearing the deacons even consider it 

He just called and tonight's service will be a song service followed by an open discussion if what to do.  He's really been mentally whalloped by this so now I feel badly for not being very sympathetic with my earlier post.

I realized on the way home that our Deacon's families had been more directly affected than he had earlier in the week.  Both involved in educational institutions that have been shut down.  It wasn't on his radar that the church would need to shut down, too.  There are less than 10 of us that aren't in a high risk group.  Even our Pastor is diabetic and over 70 so at risk.  I'm guessing we'll be shut down after tonight.  I'm going to go early tonight and do what I can to sanitize before the service.

Still, and I don't mean to be mean, but the job of Pastor, of shepherd, requires one to do the research, know the risks, and protect the flock. He failed to do that, and by calling people to come back tonight to discuss it in person, is continuing in that failure. 

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Just got back from church.  It was about half-full, so instead of standing shoulder to shoulder like normal, there was a relatively nice buffer zone between families/groups.  Last sunday after the service, our priest encouraged everyone to skip the kiss of peace and just bow to one another from a distance from now on.  Everyone did that this sunday which I was was surprised about - I thought for sure people would forget.  Also, just before the Eucharist was brought out, he told everyone to make sure they don't touch the spoon (tilt your head back, open wide and let the priest/deacon drop it in).  And then he encouraged everyone to not kiss the icons, the chalice, his hands or the cross when receiving a blessing.  And finally, this was our last sunday for the foreseeable future of having a meal together after the liturgy.  Lots of small changes, but everyone is cooperating and hopefully they will make a difference without having to make bigger, drastic changes.

My state only has 5 cases; 2 in our county.

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My state has over 100 confirmed cases, three in the Orlando area -  2 in Orange County, 1 in Seminole County - these counties are intertwined so you may live in one but shop or attend church in the other. In fact, I live in a city that has some residents in one, and some in another. And I've been told by an ICU nurse that they are not able to test any suspected cases unless that person traveled out of the country or had KNOWN direct contact with a positive case. So...yeah. Basically, they are not testing people and therefore the numbers are likely higher. And yet, I've been told by one person taht we should go to church MORE and just pray the virus away. I told her I do believe in prayer but I don't send my child to play in traffic - I tell him to look both ways. God wants us to use the wisdom he gave us. Ugh. 

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Our church had limited services today.  Livestream is always available for services.  A lot more people took advantage of that than usual.

I think that it is probable that Livestream will be the only option going forward.

During this morning's service, our pastor sincerely apologized for making light of the virus in the past.  He acknowledged that he was wrong and that he wants to do better going forward.

He also explained to the congregation how social distancing helps.  He encouraged us to limit social interactions to especially help the older/sicker members of the congregation.  He also explained flattening the curve to help out the medical profession/those needing medical care.

He asked us to do what we can to encourage one another and help each other with groceries or whatever.

He also admonished the congregation to not look down on those who are taking the virus more seriously than others.

I wanted to stand up and applaud, but since I was home he wouldn't have seen me. :)

I will probably send him an email tomorrow.

Edited by Junie
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