A COVID Update- The Rev'd Michael Singer
You may be aware that we currently are not meeting in the church for worship, and by order of the Governor there can be no meetings of greater than 10 people on church property.
Since 1729, St. James has been a place where people have gathered for public worship. We have come together on joyous occasions to celebrate joyous occasions such as baptisms, weddings, for Christmas, Easter, listen to music, for youth events, the list goes on and on. There have been times we have been able to comfort one another and share our grief … for national disasters like 9/11, when we have gone to war, for funerals. St. James has been a safe place, a special place, a sacred place, and it will continue to be our sacred space. But, since April 2020, we have not been able to gather in that holy place due to COVID restrictions.
Some have stated, “Other churches are worshipping indoors, why can’t we?” The churches of which you speak are also experiencing cases of COVID. You will not hear this reported on the evening news or in their church bulletins. It is happening. We all know of individuals who have/had COVID and unfortunately, we all know people who have died from COVID. Honestly, we are currently not meeting inside because I do not want to do your funeral. Simply put, the experts tell us…. it is just not safe.
We are blessed to have Mt. Lebanon Chapel and the lawn at St. James’ downtown campus where we can currently meet outside on Sundays safely. Working in these conditions is more work for the parish staff than if we could just open the doors. There is nothing I or the parish staff would like to do more than to worship indoors at St. James.