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We celebrated the Ascension with a ‘limited’ reopening

Thanks to President Donald Trump, we were able to mark the Sunday After The Ascension by reopening the church and celebrating the Eucharist for the first time in more than a month.

The go-ahead to reopen came at the last minute. Until the president announced his challenge to there nations governors over mandatory church closures, we had resigned ourselves to yet another major Feast Day with an empty sanctuary.

A week earlier we had hoped to reopen—subject to the constraints of social distancing and the like—following Governor Larry Hogan announcement that the “lockdown” in Maryland would be cautiously lifted. But county executive John Olszewski decreed otherwise.

Our three services on the Sunday After The Ascension—8:00 AM, 9:15 AM and 11:00 AM—were each restricted to 10 congregants. The Federal Government’s guidelines, however, allow congregations of up to 25 percent of a sanctuary’s capacity.

We propose to celebrate the Eucharist at all three Sunday services until we are able to resume our normal worship schedule. This will enable parishioners who usually attend the 9:15 AM Eucharist to consider occasionally worshipping at 8:00 AM or 11:00 AM. services. In view of restrictions on school attendance ,Sunday School will be temporarily suspended.

Meanwhile,.we are asking parishioners who wish to attend church to call ahead to reserve a place. (Happy Riley (410) 236-7468; Fr. Novicki (717) 398-6603; Fr. Hawtin (443) 425-2420. Should more people call than can be accommodated at three Eucharists, we will add more services to ensure everybody’s needs are met.

For shut-ins and folks still in quarantine we will be continuing our video recordings of Feast Day and Sunday Eucharists. These are posted on the parish website (, Youtube, and Isaac the Eagle’s Facebook page. You’ll find them from 9.00 AM onwards every Sunday and Day of Obligation at at the bottom of the Home Page, under “Recent Blog Posts.”

A new midweek “broadcast” talk by the rector can also be found on the website every Wednesday or Thursday.

Meanwhile, please remember that in a bid to prevent the theft of checks mailed to the church, we have opened a Post Office Box for the exclusive use of the treasurer. Please mail your offerings to: St Stephen’s Anglican Church, P.O. Box 6161, Timonium, MD 21094. All other mail should be sent to our street address. GPH✠ & JPN✠

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