A STATEMENT FROM THE RECTOR TO ST. STEPHEN’S
NOVEMBER 22, 2020
Dear St. Stephen’s members and friends,
As you all know, the cases of Covid infection in North Dakota have risen drastically within the last few days and weeks. There are now, as of today, over 10,000 active Covid cases in the state of North Dakota alone. As a result of this alarming and critical situation, I have decided, after consultation with the St. Stephen’s Wardens and Vestry, to once again suspend all in-person worship at St. Stephen’s, beginning immediately.
I understand that this situation is a disappointment to some of us who have enjoyed in-person worship. Those who have attended in-person worship have been very conscientious in wearing masks and keeping social distance. However, as I have said from the beginning of this pandemic, even with those precautions in place, I do not want St. Stephen’s to be the cause of anyone getting sick with this disease.
This decision of course comes at a very inopportune time. We will begin the Season of Advent next Sunday. Christmas is a month away. We are also in the middle of our Pledge Drive. However, it is important that parishioners’ health remains out highest priority during this time.
As a result of this decision, we will continue to do the following:
VIRTUAL WORSHIP: We will continue to provide all of our liturgies through our various online features. Our Sunday and Wednesday Masses will continue as always. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day masses will also be celebrated at our regular times. All of our liturgies will continue to be Livestreamed.
STAFF AND VESTRY: For the foreseeable future, I along with our parish staff of Deacon John Anderson and organist James Mackay, along with our wardens and select Vestry members, as well as Cantor Michelle Gelsinke and Matthew Patnode, will continue to help to provide regular online worship and music for you. All of these online liturgies will continue to be done by Facebook Livestream and will be uploaded, as usual, to our YouTube channel and our website. Links to these are included below.
PLEDGES: Because we are in the midst of Stewardship time and our annual pledge drive, please know that your pledges are more important than ever during this time. I ask you to please make sure to send in your pledge cards in a timely matter and to give generously for our congregation to continue to do the ministries we do and to provide the presence we have been during this difficult time. If you have not received a pledge card and would like one, please let me know. Or if you would like to pledge, or make a one-time pledge online, please feel free to do so through our Paypal account on our web page https://ststephensfargo.org
PRAY: Please PRAY! Pray for our congregation, for our members, your wardens, your vestry, your organist and musicians, and for me, your priest.
Pray for your neighbors, our country and all those affected by this crisis throughout the world.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: Keep healthy and keep safe! Please continue to socially distance as best you can during this time and WEAR YOUR MASKS!
SOCIAL MEDIA: Please continue to join us for worship through these media.
Our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcdWKCnCHmviajkFX5p-xGg
Our webpage: https://ststephensfargo.org
You are all in my prayers, and be assured I pray for each of you by name throughout the course of each week. Please pray for me also during this time. And with you, I look forward to the day when this pandemic will be a distant, unpleasant dream and we can all gather together to worship, to share fellowship and to in each other’s physical company again.
Fr. Jamie Parsley