An update on regathering plans, from Bishop Marc

Posted on July 14, 2020. Updated on July 14, 2020

This note was originally sent out in the clergy newsletter, Clergy Connect on July 2. Since many of our clergy are on vacation, we are reposting it here. Please help ensure wardens and other lay leaders also receive the message. Thank you!

Dear clergy colleagues,

First of all, a tremendous thank you for your thoughtful work and prayerful decision-making in creating and submitting your plans to regather, or not as the case may be, in the coming months. The diocese has received the required updates from every congregation in every deanery and is now reviewing the paperwork.

Although I and the diocesan COVID-19 Response Team had hoped to give the green-light for small outdoor gatherings as soon as next Sunday (July 12), we have become increasingly concerned about the recent rise in coronavirus cases in the Bay Area. After listening to Governor Gavin Newsom’s press conference yesterday and digesting the most up-to-date county guidance, we have decided our current worship and gathering guidelines should remain in place until further notice.

I know this further delay is disappointing, particularly after so much creative and collaborative work developing plans to worship together in new ways. But the health and safety of our congregations and communities remains our priority; and, now, after so much good work “flattening the curve” and, literally, saving lives, it appears more important than ever to stay the course and lead by example in our approach to public health.

I and the diocesan COVID-19 team continue to monitor the latest public health reports, and in mid- to late July, will offer a new assessment, with an eye toward allowing re-gatherings in August. 

As always, feel free to contact me directly at bishopmarc@diocal.org with any questions or concerns.

In Christ,

+Marc