Phased Re-Gathering in Our Church Buildings

Dear Pohick Family:

We continue to miss being together physically. I can’t begin to express how proud I am of you for maintaining such a strong sense of community throughout this pandemic! Like our first Christian brothers and sisters whom Luke describes in Acts, we’ve learned to practice worship and community in “home church.” Of course, they didn’t have the internet, so their version was more localized!

As I’ve continued to do, I’m writing to update you about Diocesan guidelines regarding re-gathering physically at church. You have probably heard the governor’s announcement about phasing in businesses, including churches. According to Virginia, Northern Virginia churches may open May 29 at half capacity.

However, the Diocese (in consultation with other dioceses) has decided Episcopal Churches will not, yet. Based on the higher law of Christ’s love and care for the vulnerable, we will follow different guidelines.

That said, the diocese is allowing us to return to live streaming both Morning Prayer and Eucharist in the church building beginning May 22! I sense you’ll all be as glad about this as I am! There are tighter participant and age restrictions than before, which you’ll see.

Having heard all of this yesterday, I shared them with the Vestry in our May meeting last night. Today I am forwarding to all of you the guidelines and attachments that Bishop Goff just sent.(Some of you may have received it.)

Please note: we will have some leeway to plan what Pohick’s particular phase-in plan for worship and fellowship will look like, when the time comes. Soon I will convene a small committee that will craft that plan. Then I will send it to the Bishop for approval.

Please note: I’ve been appointed one of two clergy coaches in the North Region of Virginia (which is comprised of several regions). As coach, I’ll help other churches create re-entry plans and counsel them regarding related issues. This may give us a bird’s- eye view and perhaps some insight and influence. As I’ve said before, any plan going forward will absolutely involve continuing to live stream worship, both for those of you uncomfortable about returning until its safer, as well as did those thousands out there who are searching!

Please call or email me or Alex if you just want to process all this. We are feeling your grief and loss, and our own as well! But we also hope and trust that God is in the midst of creating something new, as always!

With much love, in Christ,
Rev. Lynn+