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May 19, 2021

To our Diocesan Family –

For the past 15 months, congregational and diocesan leaders have navigated the COVID pandemic.  Our priority has been the health and safety of our parishioners, staff and guests.  Diocesan guidelines have incorporated the CDC’s directives as well as input from local health officials. 

Last week the CDC issued new protocols for vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.   Our congregations have parishioners in both categories, and I hope our churches will continue to be places of hospitality for everyone who graces our doors.  We recognize that what is appropriate in one context may not work in another.  Therefore, the diocese is transitioning from uniform guidelines to congregational decision making on Sunday, May 23, 2021.  All matters pertaining to worship, formation and other activities are now within the purview of the clergy and lay leadership of our faith communities, in consultation with their reentry task force members. 

Churches may continue using existing protocols or modify them.  I trust our leaders to make wise decisions based upon the particularities of their situation.  We are moving closer to normal church life but we aren’t there yet.  Unvaccinated individuals are still at risk, and at this time no vaccine is available for children under the age of 12.  How we treat one another is a reflection of our faith.  May the Holy Spirit continue to guide us as we seek and serve Christ in all persons.

Peace,

Bishop Phoebe

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