Good afternoon everyone!
We are currently in a run of three lovely, special Sundays: last Sunday was the Sunday after Ascension and we celebrated the fact that Jesus precedes us to heaven, this coming Sunday is Pentecost when we will led by our children in the delight of being filled with the Holy Spirit (WEAR RED TO CHURCH and bring your answers to Amy's questions!) and then the following Sunday (May 30) is Trinity Sunday. So many occasions to delight in worship together. If you miss a service, make sure to catch up on YouTube or by listening to the sermon!
There is a LOT of information in this letter - so first a joyful reminder: in all that we do our first principle is love, love for God, each other and our community. Our hope is that all who worship at Incarnation will feel safe (emotionally, physically, spiritually) when we gather and we make our personal choices for the good of the whole body. As we exercise our freedoms, we do so, first ensuring that our weakest and most vulnerable have ways of keeping safe. But then we are bold, and courageous and hope-filled as we are grateful for science, vaccines, masks and the opportunity for change. Can you recall our 1 Corinthians memory verse?
Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love 1 Cor 16:13-14
So here goes, take your time and read it slowly!
1. Updated Safety Guidelines for services & gatherings
1) The fully immunized (i.e. two weeks post second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or post single dose of J&J vaccine) are able to attend outdoor worship services and other gatherings under the canopies without masking, and physical distancing for them is relaxed. Those who are immunized but wish to continue wearing masks are encouraged to do so, as this is a matter of individual discretion.
2) Those who are not fully immunized are encouraged to wear masks and observe physical distancing for canopy services and gatherings.
3) Communion: For the time being, we will continue to administer communion as we have been during the pandemic. All servers who are administering communion must be fully immunized to not wear a mask.
4) Small gatherings: Fully immunized persons may attend smaller gatherings without masks, whether indoors in homes or outdoors, at the discretion of your hosts. Unvaccinated people are encouraged to continue to wear masks especially for indoors gatherings.
5) Children: Each family is encouraged to use masks for children at their own discretion. We recognise many schools have requirements for their children and we will do all we can to keep all our children safe.
Thank you all for being patient, flexible and thoughtful! And now - the next big item of news:
2. Service time from June 6: 9am
Thank you all so much for completing the survey last week regarding service times. The overwhelming vote was for a 9am service to avoid the worst of the summer heat (and afternoon storms!).
Starting June 6 we will worship together at 9am under the canopies and on zoom.
Ushers will be asked to show up at 8am to help with preparation for the service, and other volunteers to arrive by 8.30am.
We hope to stay outdoors under the canopies throughout the Summer so that we can worship together (going indoors will mean multiple services… we’d rather stay together as long as possible!).
Every week after the 9am service the children will be enjoying Wild Wonder at Alcova Heights Park - EVERYONE is invited to head down there with brunch and games for jollities and chat!
In addition, we will be starting monthly snacklucks. Hoorah for food and popsicles. Also look out for news about hikes, picnics and camping.
3. Ordinary time
ALSO on June 6, we begin the season of ‘ordinary time’ in the Anglican calendar. Here are a few things to look forward to:
We will switch our liturgy to the Renewed Ancient Eucharist - bring your BCP2019 to church!
“Imitate me” sermon series: I wonder who you have learned from in your Christian walk - do you have a mentor/hero/ person of influence in your life who has inspired you? Begin to think about those people - we’ll be looking for blogs :)
Every Wednesday we will be hosting live “Canopy Chat” at 7.30pm, an opportunity to follow up from the Sunday sermon with a “how to” guide as we think about how to implement these lessons learned into our own lives.
Please text, WhatsApp or email me if you’d like to chat about any of these things or really anything that is on your mind! I love to walk and talk, or drink coffee :)
Your grateful pastor,