Back at the beginning of the pandemic, the Rector, Wardens, Vestry and Staff worked very hard to come up with a way of continuing the parish’s worship life while keeping all of us safe. That hard work has paid off. However, at the end of March, few of us imagined that we would still be facing the same challenges at Christmastime. With the current increase of cases in our City, we have regretfully come to the decision that the current restrictions on in-person worship at St. Esprit will have to continue for the time being.
We have been able to invite the small number of people who responded to our email asking about interest in returning to the church in person. We can accommodate only eight people, including the clergy and staff who need to be present. Services open by invitation only include Morning and Evening Prayer on Tuesdays, Midweek Communion on Wednesdays, Morning Prayer on Thursdays and the Taizé Prayer on Thursday evenings. If you are not currently on the list of those wishing to be invited to a service, you can still fill in the survey if you are interested in attending in person by clicking here.
Because the Christmas services of Chantons Noël, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be sung services, they will be online only, as will the regular Sunday morning service of Holy Communion. Six people necessary for the service will be present (Nigel, Fred, Cynthia, Aya, Wendy and Joris).
Wednesday services of Holy Communion will remain open to those who wish to attend (2 or 3 at a time), by application and invitation to avoid overcrowding. There is no singing on Wednesdays, people will be expected to leave the premises immediately after the service.
Morning and evening prayer on Tuesdays and Thursdays open by application and invitation (1 or 2 at a time).
Other meetings: All other meetings will be held by Zoom (Bible study, Vestry, the coffee hour, etc.)
Finally, and unfortunately, the services cannot yet be ‘social’ occasions. Physical distancing regulations and the absence of physical coffee hour mean that our sole priority must be the worship service itself. Masks will have to be worn at all time on church premises and attendees will need to leave the premises quickly at the end of the worship service so that the church can be sanitized. There is no access to the garden.
We are continuing to experiment with ways in which more people can be involved in the services through recording their singing at home or here in Church. You will see some of the results of your hard work during the services at Christmastime. With my heartfelt thanks for your continued patience and faithfulness and for the talents and resources you so generously give to make sure that our church continues to thrive,
The Rev. Nigel Massey
Rector of Saint-Esprit