Letter and Invitation from Pastor Beth Taylor
IMPORTANT - Please read all the way through
Dear St. John’s,
I hope that this message finds you all well. Please know that my prayers are with you every day. I know and trust, even as we are saddened by losses and separated by distance, that you are finding reservoirs of strength that live deep within your spirit. And I know that God is always with us.
Information about Re-Entry
I want to share all the news that I have with you every step of the way, and please know that you can always call me if you have questions. Here is what I know now. The Bishops of the Episcopal Dioceses in the state of Michigan issued a joint directive outlining a 3 phase re-entry plan for Episcopal Churches in Michigan. There are just a few things to reiterate about this document:
Everything that is offered in the directive is based in love for one another, safety, science, and care and concern for the most vulnerable.
There is no date named for any re-entry phase in this document (it is preparing us for some time in the future, but not yet saying when). I know we will want to speculate about a re-entry date beyond hiatus, but we just don't yet know when that date will be.
The Bishops emphasize that it is not a linear process. There will likely be starts and stops along the way, and each congregation must consider its unique context. We have a very complex context because of the size of our congregation and spaces, the number of renters, and the high-traffic environment we inhabit on a busy intersection.
I hope you will sit down with a cup of tea (maybe more than one) in the next few days and make a good, slow reading of this document.
Mark it up, and write down every question you have, and highlight the things that you believe will be most important for St. John's to grapple with.
Try to think what others' questions and concerns will be, as well as things that are not in this document that you think we should consider?
What do you think will be of most concern for the different demographics within our community: people with compromised immune systems, older members, younger members, families with babies and young children, Open Hands, New To You, support groups, the Kitchen, the staff, and other ministry teams?
There are so many questions to consider, but fortunately we don't have to do anything immediately. We can and will be thoughtful and deliberate about these conversations. I know that you will join me in navigating St. John’s through this with the utmost care, with the safety of everyone as our first priority, acting to set boundaries and reframe our expectations, having heartbreaking but essential conversations about what we long to do but cannot do right now because we LOVE one another.
We are St. John’s – and we always will be. We will get through this because we have love for one another. So, St. John’s - continue to pray for each other, care for each other, stay connected, remain faithful, feel your feelings, ask for help, receive care from others, acknowledge your longings, and know that we serve a Risen Christ who will join us together again. You are beloved!
Rev. Beth Taylor, Rector
Invitation to Town Hall Meetings
As a member of St. John’s, you are invited to attend (on Zoom, or by calling in) one or more Town Hall meetings. We ask for your insight, suggestion, questions and wisdom about a slow phased re-entry plan for St. John’s considering our unique spaces, programs and congregational needs.
You may attend one or more of the following meetings.
Monday, May 11 at 7:00pm
Wednesday, May 13 at 7:00pm
Saturday, May 16 at 6:00pm -
(focused specifically on thoughts, concerns and questions of children, youth, parents, and their leaders)
Sunday, May 17 at 4:00pm
Meeting ID: 925 3027 0444
Or Call in 646-558-8656