Dear Ones of St. Columba's,
With the announcement of new restrictions on gathering by Governor Inslee today, and school closures beginning to sweep through the districts attended by St. C's children it is clear that we have isolating times ahead. It is time for us to find new ways to connect, support, and take care of each other while we also work to comply with social distancing and the further methods necessary to slow this outbreak.
I am writing you to let you know one of the ways we will respond together, during the weeks ahead. Tomorrow, a small team of St. C's folks will take all of our active membership and sort us into Buddy Groups made up of 4-5 households each. Each of these groups will have a captain who will convene conversation about how the group can best check in with each other daily. This could be done via phone, text, skype, google hangout - many options and each group can decide the best option for them. It will be the job of buddy groups to make sure no one among us is left without contact, check-ins, and help if help is needed. Captains will be in regular contact with our clergy and pastoral support team so that if people need calls, prayers, groceries, extra support, or anything we can activate our community to help. This virus is dangerous, and drastic measures are important in order to slow its spread. Isolation is also dangerous, and we need to work together to make sure no one is lost to loneliness or an isolation related harm, as well.
If you are willing to captain a buddy group, or have one or two particular people you wish to be in a buddy group with, please let me know as soon as possible. We hope to have these groups set, captains briefed, and regular contact initiated by Sunday or Monday of this upcoming week.
We will assign every household in active membership in the congregation to a buddy group. If you receive our newsletter, want to be in a buddy group, and are uncertain whether or not you are categorized as an active member, please contact me and let me know. We will put you in a buddy group. If you are not certain that we have correct contact information for you or your household, please contact me and let me know.
Meanwhile, our 8am and 10am services this Sunday are still happening, with social distancing and safety measures in place. We will livestream the 10am service. We are going week to week on how to offer worship and the sacraments, and this is the plan for this week. Please, if you are in a high risk group or have any symptoms, stay home and join us online. We will stay connected, stay community, and stay church, even during these times when we cannot all be physically present together.
UPDATE: We have made the difficult decision to cancel all worship services and gatherings at St. C's for the immediate future. Click here for more info on what is happening.
I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be your Vicar during this unique time. Please know I am here and do not hesitate to contact me if you are in any kind of need or distress. Also, if you just want to say hi, I would love to hear from you.
with care and gratitude,