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The Vestry debates how to handle the Corona Virus

The vestry met on June 17th—its first meeting since the Corona Virus restrictions were imposed in March this year. The item at the top of the agenda was the manner in which the church should reopen with the gradual lifting of the lock down.

Being Anglicans, there were at least two school of thought. One advocated an immediate return to normal. The other counsllled proceeding very much more cautiously.

In the end, the vestry decided the most considerate course for the elderly, and those most at risk from the virus, would be to proceed with caution.

It was pointed out that although infections appeared to be diminishing and the worst of the epidemic was believed to have passed, it still presented a serious threat to the elderly and those with underlying health issues.

Therefore in order to encourage those concerned about the possibility of infection to return to church the most kindly and considerate course would be for everybody when congregating in the Cadwalader Room and at the altar rail and to practice social distancing in the sanctuary.

It was also decided to that, while organ music would be permitted, there will be no singing in church until we receive an official go-ahead. Singing is believed to present a greater danger for the spread of the disease than speech as it expels a far greater volume of air from the lungs.

Our Sunday service schedule will resume (with or without singing) at 8:00 AM, 9:15 AM and 11:00 AM. We will celebrate the Eucharist at the first two services and resume the Morning Office at 11:00 AM. In view of restrictions on school attendance ,Sunday School will be informal.

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 (www.ststeve.com), Youtube, and Isaac the Eagle’s Facebook page.

You’ll find them from 9:00 AM onwards every Sunday and Day of Obligation at ststeve.com 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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