After consulting with public health officials and based on the current available knowledge, the Bishop and Synod staff of the Upstate New York Synod is very strongly recommending that for the next three weeks, beginning on March 15th, all corporate or “in-person” worship should be cancelled for the greater good of the community of the faithful.
This means that there will not be a worship service this Sunday (tomorrow) nor for the next two Sundays. The Wednesday Soup and Evening Prayer services are also cancelled. Any questions can be directed to Pastor Jo Page at 518.852.3076 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like, the Dean’s letter to the Hudson Mohawk Conference concerning this matter can be sent to you either electronically or via snail mail.
The information below is from the Bishop’s letter to the Synod. The full letter can also be sent to you via snail mail or electronically. This is a portion of what Bishop John Macholz wrote:
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
In Luke Jesus calls his followers to be as innocent as doves and as wise as serpents. It is now time for us to be wise as we follow the One who brings hope and healing to our lives and world. I am announcing the cessation of “in person” worship in this synod beginning March 15 and continuing for at least three weeks through Tuesday, March 31. At that point in time we will reassess and make additional recommendations if needed.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 requires that we act. Some may see these measures as drastic. I consider them prudent.
Many of our members at the Sunday liturgy are age 60 and older. People in this age group have been designated as persons at higher risk, as well as those who are vulnerable for health reasons. It is our responsibility to care for them and for all our members in every possible way. This is one of those ways. Continuing to gather only gives the virus increased opportunity to grow and spread. We have the ability to slow this spread. This is, in my pastoral opinion, the time act.
As we move forward as the Church Together please know that I will continue to hold you and our shared ministry in prayer and in hope. We shall weather this storm and come out on the other side stronger, more compassionate, more knowledgeable and more resilient about ministry in these trying times. This will be an opportunity for us to grow and discover. May it be so among us. To God alone be the glory!
In Christ’s peace,
Bishop John Macholz