Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Please Read: All Public Worship and Gatherings at St. Thomas remain SUSPENDED Through June 10th

4/1/2020

Dear Beloved Friends in Christ, 

As we walk through these challenging and no doubt one day, memorable times, we are called to remember: “Who we are and Whose we are” in our care for others, creation, and self.  As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, Bishop Susan has continued the suspension of PUBLIC Worship & Gatherings through June 10th in accordance with Virginia Governor Northam's Excutive Order # 55 of 2020.

This means that as the world community works together to slow the spread of COVID-19, we will not gather publicly for worship or for other activities during the most holy time of the year.  However, let there be no doubt that we will still worship God and we will still celebrate the wonder and glory of the resurrection.  

We will do it all in ways that will honor God, that will honor the health of the most vulnerable among us, and that will honor the restrictions placed upon us by our civic leaders.  We are the Church, and we will be the Church during during these uniquely challenging times, and for as long as God calls us.  I encourage those who can stream live services to explore the various opportunities available, especially from our National Cathedral [ cathedral.org ] or other platforms.  However, because there are so many in our rural congregation with no broadband or streaming capability and to promote solidarity of community and to prevent two classes of parishioners --those who have broadband and those who do not, St. Thomas will provide alternative worship options via printed Weekly Meditations and Audi-only Podcasts that will be mailed to all members.

Throughout this period, our Church doors will be unlocked Monday through Thursday from 10:35 am to 2:20 pm.  We only ask that you please use the hand sanitizer as you enter and as you leave.

This is a time for personal worship and prayer.  Should you desire, you may walk the “Way of the Cross” on your own using the booklets provided on the entrance table.  The liturgical hangings will reflect the appropriate season.  

Together, we will worship in new and different ways as we explore what it means to "be the Church" in these trying times. Together, we can still tell the story of our faith in compelling ways.  Together, we will support God’s mission.  Together, we will continue to be “the Church.”

During these times of personal isolation, please also consider Christian “in-reach” to our many members, especially the matriarchs and patriarchs of our congregation.  Consider a phone call to help keep them informed and affirmed of your love and concern for them.  Ask how they are doing and if there are any needs or concerns we might address.

Above all, please keep all those who faithfully continue to work amongst us: Health Care workers, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters and EMS, Postal workers, Grocery and Pharmacy workers, Delivery drivers, Gas Station employees, etc.  When you see them, thank them, and pray for their continued health.

Fear Note.  God is bigger than our fears, bigger than our sense of loss.  God is present and at work in this pandemic, showing us renewed ways to be community.  The truth of this time remains eternal:

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again.

God bless you.  God bless us all as we walk this road in hope, in truth, and in growing faith - together.  Pastor Lin +


3/27/2020
The March Movie Night of 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' was CANCELLED due to COVID-19
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