A Message from the Rector - May 17, 2020
May 23, 2020, 4:45 PM

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

I hope that you all are doing well and keeping safe.  

The worship this Sunday is not the usual Morning Prayer Rite Two but is our Daily Devotions found on page 137 in the Book of Common Prayer. I will read the gospel and prayers will be part of the sermon.   I hope you sign in to the link and share in the message and the prayers.

As you know, we are in a difficult time. The lives of so many are touched with sorrow and tragedy, and our prayers are needed more than ever.   Even in this turbulent time, we continue to see black people cut down and harassed because of the color of their skin. The lives of black people are being taken and questions are asked.  We pray for healing, the transformation of hearts, and the understanding that we are all God's people.

Thank you for your continued dedication & commitment to and financial support of St. Mark’s during this time when we are apart. It will ensure that the ministry of St. Mark’s continues uninterrupted.    

Virtual Coffee Hour: Join us for our Sunday Morning Fellowship that begins at 10:45 a.m. You have an opportunity to share your thoughts and bring insights to topics of interest.  

Fellowship Groups: I encourage you to have group conversations. If you need help setting up FreeConferenceCall, contact Heidi to assist you.

Food Pantry: Donations may be brought to the Parish Hall between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. every Friday.

In-Person Worship:

            Bishop Brewer, with input from various sources, has determined that in-person worship may resume on Sunday, May 31, Pentecost Sunday. The Bishop asks that no congregation feel pressured by the announcement to re-open and suggests that each congregation discern its own comfort level regarding to the resumption of in-person worship. Guidance from the Diocese of Central Florida and the National Church suggests a slow, intentional phasing process for all aspect of getting back to what used to be “normal”.

            There are huge considerations, and the Vestry members are putting their heads together to prepare the church. Considerations include: physical distancing, wearing masks and gloves, sanitizing the space, distribution of communion, and much more. The question is: Are we ready? Please send me your suggestions and thoughts so that they may be added to the conversation and deliberations for returning to our familiar space. These are items that have already been decided:

            - Each pew will be marked by the 6ft. distancing. Every other pew will be used instead of every pew. The chairs on both sides will be utilized in the same way.

            - There will be no physical passing of the peace or greeting at the door after the service.

            - Communion will be served in one kind only.

            - Each parishioner will bring their own masks, wipes, and gloves if those are desired.

                        A few of these items will be on hand for emergency purposes only.

            - The use of prayer books and hymnals will be discontinued.  

            - The worship schedule and notices will continue to be provided in the Sunday Bulletin.

            - The offering plates will remain up front as before the crisis sent us to shelter-in-place.  

There is more, and I look forward to hearing from you as we deliberate. Thank you!

 

God’s blessings, as you Pray, Hope, and Believe and share with others.      

+The Rev. Canon Angela S. Ifill