Pastoral Letter – October

1. Pastoral letter

Greetings from the French Church du Saint Esprit!

I’m writing to you at the end of September with several items of good news – very welcome as we try to navigate our way through what we hope is the beginning of the end of the pandemic!

When all of this began over eighteen months ago, our first priorities were to keep the church members safe, and to continue worship in our sanctuary as best we could. We started to live-stream morning and evening prayers every day, and our regular communion services and study groups and French lessons continued on-line. Over this period, we have discovered not only new ways to be together, but also a new group of people from all over our City and all over the world who have participated in our parish life in surprising numbers. A church that was proud of its in-person ministry of hospitality became a church that can be proud of its common life of prayer and worship that is able to use the gift of those new technologies.

We want to make sure that these two aspects of our life together will continue into the future. Thanks to generous gifts and a grant from St. Thomas’ Church, we are able to maintain the standard of our on-line services in a way that will not intrude physically on the experience of those who will soon join us in person for our Sunday services. And this is the second part of our good news. Beginning on October 10th, you will be able to register to attend our Sunday services in person. The services will be sung communion services, and given the small size of the sanctuary of St. Esprit, the Rector, Staff and Vestry have made some important decisions intended both to comply with City ordinances and to keep everyone comfortable and safe. Registration will be on-line through our church website. The numbers will be restricted to a safe occupancy, and those who attend in person will have to wear masks and show proof of vaccination. Because of these requirements, it won’t be possible for people to simply turn up on any given Sunday and hope to be admitted. We want to make sure that everyone who wishes to will get a chance to attend, given the temporary conditions we have had to put in place to be safely physically present in the church.

We also want to make sure that those who don’t yet feel comfortable meeting in person again, or those who would find it impossible to comply with the mask and vaccination requirements continue to know that they are vital and valued members of our little church. The online services and study groups will continue. Indeed, the study groups have proved extremely popular online, and will continue in that form for the time being.

All of us wish that we could return more rapidly to the way things used to be. The steps we’ve taken together are stepping-stones towards that full return. As your wardens have mentioned, our survival as a church through this time wouldn’t have been possible without a wonderful lay leadership, a devoted staff who have given so much, and most of all, you: the faithful people of St. Esprit. We have lost much. And when we come together we will mark those losses with respect and love. But we’ve gained much too. Your cards, messages of support and financial contributions have ensured that we will be able to tell this story to generations of francophone worshipers in New York who are still to come.  Thank you to each and every one of you. And I look forward to seeing you back in the sanctuary of St. Esprit before too long so that we can celebrate together in true St. Esprit style!

Until then, blessings, health and peace,

Nigel 

2. A word from our Wardens, Lynnaia Main and Philip Orawski

It has been our solemn responsibility, and our joy, to serve as your Wardens during this tricky and difficult time of pandemic lockdown, upheaval, transition and reopening. It has been challenging for us all – yet we have been heartened and our faith has deepened in witnessing the many ways that you, our beloved Saint Esprit members, have cared for each other throughout this time. It has meant sacrifice, and personal risk, for our Rector Nigel and wonderful liturgical team (Fred, Cynthia, Aya, Joris and Wendy) who saw us through our lockdown. For others, it has meant faithfulness and patience in the midst of estrangement and isolation, holding on to our faith, and being faithful to our church, at a time when we could neither access our church physically, nor be together in community to do all we do together as church.

Months after the miracle of vaccines, we are finally able to continue reopening Saint Esprit, this time, for Sunday worship! Although in a limited capacity and with a few rules attached. But we are so happy! And we want to assure you that we – your Rector, Vestry and Staff – have been and will remain as ultra vigilant and cautious as always as we take these next steps together.

Everyone’s safety will be uppermost in our minds and plans, which means that we will need to ask for your continued patience as we adapt our pandemic plans to fit conditions that are constantly and rapidly changing. It may take time before we are all reunited in person, but we look forward to seeing you at Saint Esprit very soon. In the meantime, rest assured of our prayers and our love.”

3. Administrator note
To register to attend services open to the public starting October 10th, please visit our website, stesprit.org and click on RSVP in the blue menu (on phones and tablet, you might have to click on “mobile menu” to make it appear first. The RSVP page is pretty intuitive, but for detailed instructions:
1. Click the day of the week you would like to attend (only the next 6 days show).
2. Under the RSVP section, tap the date and select the date you wish to attend, enter your email, select YES and click NEXT
3. On the next page, enter all the required information and click SUBMIT. You will then receive a confirmation email.

Please, remember that spots are limited, so we ask you only register for one service at a time for now. In the form you will need to confirm that you will show your proof of vaccination at the door and wear a mask. Please note also that there is no possibility of social gathering after the service at the moment.

Many thanks,

Fred

Summer schedule and in-person sign-up

Bonjour !

While the Rev. Nigel Massey is enjoying his well-deserved annual summer leave, we will hold a morning prayer service every Monday at 9:15am (online and in-person) as well as a midday prayer service on Wednesday at 12:15pm (online and in-person) and a Sunday Morning Prayer service at 11:15am (online only). The Taizé prayer group is taking a summer break as well so there will be no Taizé service until September 16th.

Also, the Vestry has decided that the situation wasn’t clear enough yet to reopen on Sundays in September. Therefore, the Sunday services will not be open to the public in September. The Vestry will meet again on September 13 to decide if Sunday services can reopen to the public in October.

For an in-depth schedule, please click on the following link to access our live calendar.

You are welcome to sign-up to attend in person on a Monday or Wednesday. Simply click on the calendar link above, then click on the link that shows up in the bubble.

Many thanks,

Fred

Example: (in this picture, after clicking on “MidDay Prayers” on August 18, the bubble with the service information came up above with the link to sign up)

The Free French Class Application Period Has Started!

You can now apply to our Free French Program by reading through our French Class page and following instructions there.

Many thanks!

Fred

Note: Even though we do not know if the classes will be held in person yet (and we won’t know for sure until the very last minute) we fully expect that at least the first semester will be held via Zoom (remote learning).

Join us on youTube to celebrate our African members!

This year again, our Afrique Fête celebration will be online only. We’ve been missing everyone, but due to the small size of our sanctuary and garden, we cannot hold such an enthusiastically-attended celebration in person yet.

Our live service will start at 11:15am on Sunday July 25th! Please join us on YouTube where you can interact with each other in the live chat. A Zoom link will also be provided in the bulletins to attend a virtual coffee hour after the service.

À dimanche !

Fred

Bastille Day – Fête nationale

Join us online to celebrate le Fête nationale !

This year again, our Bastille Day celebration will be only only. We’ve been missing everyone, but due to the small size of our sanctuary and garden, we cannot hold such an enthusiastically-attended celebration in person yet.

Our live service will start at 11:15am, immediately followed by a word from our Rector and a live performance of the French anthem, after which we will play our recorded show from the previous year during which you will hear live-recorded music and learn how to make French cocktails.

Please join us on YouTube where you can interact with each other in the live chat. A Zoom link will also be provided in the bulletins to watch the show and share cocktails with others!

À dimanche !

Fred

Summer Schedule

For a quick overview, please check out our calendar page. On the calendar page, click on an event to see the details and if you can register to attend in person.

Saint-Esprit’s Summer Schedule

Service in red are online only, services in green are in-person and online or in-person only

The week of July 4th:

Notes: The Rev. Nigel Massey is away

Sunday July 4th – 11:15 am – Sunday Communion (online only)

Thursday July 8th – 6:30 pm – Taizé live service (online and in-person with reservation)

From July 11th to August 13th:

Sunday July 11th – 11:15 am – Sunday Communion (online only)

Monday July 12th – 9:15 am – Morning Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Tuesday July 13th – 6 pm – Evening Communion (in-person only, with reservation)

Wednesday July 14th – 12:15 pm – Midweek Communion (online and in-person with reservation)

Thursday July 15th – 6:30 pm – Taizé Prayers (online and in-person with reservation)

Friday July 16th – 6 pm – Vespers (online only)

Sunday July 18th – 11:15 am – Sunday Communion (online only)

Monday July 19th – 9:15 am – Morning Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Tuesday July 20th – 6 pm – Evening Communion (in-person only, with reservation)

Wednesday July 21st – 12:15 pm – Midweek Communion (online and in-person with reservation)

Thursday July 22nd – 6:30 pm – Taizé Prayers (online and in-person with reservation)

Friday July 23th – 6 pm – Vespers (online only)

Sunday July 25th – 11:15 am – Sunday Communion (online only)

Monday July 26th – 9:15 am – Morning Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Tuesday July 27th – 6 pm – Evening Communion (in-person only, with reservation)

Wednesday July 28st – 12:15 pm – Midweek Communion (online and in-person with reservation)

Thursday July 29nd – 6:30 pm – Taizé Prayers (online and in-person with reservation)

Friday July 30th – 6 pm – Vespers (online only)

Sunday August 1st – 11:15 am – Sunday Communion (online only)

Monday August 2nd – 9:15 am – Morning Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Tuesday August 3rd- 6 pm – Evening Communion (in-person only, with reservation)

Wednesday August 4th – Midweek Communion (online and in-person with reservation)

Thursday August 5th – 6:30 pm – Taizé Prayers (online and in-person with reservation)

Friday August 6th – 6 pm – Vespers (online only)

Sunday August 8th – 11:15 am – Sunday Communion (online only)

Monday August 9th – 9:15 am – Morning Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Tuesday August 10th- 6 pm – Evening Communion (in-person only, with reservation)

Wednesday August 11th – Midweek Communion (online and in-person with reservation)

Thursday August 12th – 6:30 pm – Taizé Prayers (online and in-person with reservation)

Friday August 13th – 6 pm – Vespers (online only)

From August 15th to September 11th:

Notes: The Rev. Nigel Massey is away after the 15th, Taizé takes a 3-week recess

Sunday August 15th – 11:15 am – Sunday Communion (online only)

Monday August 16th – 9:15 am – Morning Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Wednesday August 18th – Midday Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Sunday August 22nd – 11:15 am – Sunday Morning Prayer (online only)

Monday August 23rd – 9:15 am – Morning Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Wednesday August 25th – Midday Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Sunday August 29th – 11:15 am – Sunday Morning Prayer (online only)

Monday August 30th – 9:15 am – Morning Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Wednesday September 1st – Midday Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Sunday September 5th – 11:15 am – Sunday Morning Prayer (online only)

Monday September 6th – 9:15 am – Morning Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Wednesday September 8th – Midday Prayer (online and in-person with reservation)

Sunday September 12th – 11:15 am – Sunday Morning Prayer (online only)

Rentrée (schedule to be announced)

July 2021 – In-person attendance

[If you are on the front page, please, click continue reading below to see the link]

In July, the church is open to the public on:

  • Monday mornings for Morning Prayers at 9:15am
  • Tuesday evenings for Holy Communion at 6pm (no music, [not broadcasted])
  • Wednesdays for Midweek Communion 12:15pm (no music)
  • Thursday at 6:30pm for Taizé prayers

(Additionally, we will take a short break and there will be no weekly services except Taizé between July 5th and July 10th.)

Because we can only accommodate a certain number of parishioners following the CDC guidelines, we ask that you register before coming.

Please click this link to register and attend in person

Many thanks,

Fred

In-Person Registration for June 2021

[If you are on the front page, please, click continue reading below to see the link]

The church is open to the public on:

  • Tuesday evenings for Holy Communion at 6pm (no music)
  • Wednesdays for Midweek Communion 12:15pm (no music)
  • Thursday at 6:30pm for Taizé prayers

Because we can only accommodate a certain number of parishioners following the CDC guidelines, we ask that you register before coming.

Please click this link to register and attend in person

Many thanks,

Fred

Partial Reopening Sign-Up

Following our May Vestry meeting and the issuing of the new CDD guidelines, we are delighted to announce a change in the in-person opening schedule.

Starting May 18th, you will be able to attend in-person on:

  • Tuesday evenings for a short communion service (no music)
  • Wednesdays for midweek communion (no music)
  • Thursday evenings during our Taizé prayer services

Attendance to these services is contingent on social distancing and wearing a mask in the building. This is why we ask that you register in advance to insure that no particular day exceed the maximum amount of guests we can accommodate. If you are interested in attending in person, please fill in the following form by clicking here and pick a date.

Unfortunately, we cannot yet open on Sundays, but we are looking forward to being able to do so in the near future. When this changes, we will make a new post.

 

Many thanks,

Fred