Fall Christian Education Kick-Off for All Ages, Sunday, Oct 10, 10:10-10:50 AM (between services):
Typically the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, during Christian Ed time, we would be providing a pre-view of our Fall Christian Ed Programs for all ages (over coffee and donuts no less!). Due to the spike in COVID infections/hospitalizations in the larger community, our St. Julian's Forward (COVID) Task Force has determined to postpone our Fall Kick-Off exactly one month to Sunday, Oct 10. This follows polling of our families with children to make a determination around when families are comfortable sending their children back to Sunday School. We certainly want to begin our fall semester with a critical mass of participants, and our research and conversations with healthcare professionals suggests that we should be in a much better place by then in regard to the various COVID Metrics that we are closely following (of course that could change).
Having said all of that and admitting my own sadness around the delay, I remain super excited about returning to a regular Sunday morning routine of worship and learning together soon and very soon. This includes Holy Communion at 9 and 11 AM (as we are doing now) and Christian Ed for all ages between services from 10:10-10:50 AM. Our classrooms will remain the same: Adults in the Worship Space, Pre-K-Kinder in the Red Room, 1st-3rd Grades in the Yellow Room, 4th-6th Grades in the Green Room, and 7th Grade and up in the Blue Room (with me!). We will, of course, continue to stream the 9 AM service each and every week. Further, we will stream our Adult Ed class each Sunday as well. So, if you worship online at 9 AM, just stay on that link for our Theologian in Residence, Dr. Tony Baker's, class which will follow directly (children's classes will be in-person only).
After Labor Day Weekend, we will begin to announce topics and curriculum for each class. And, for your planing, we will continue to require mask use at the 9 AM service and during Sunday school until, at least, vaccines are available for school age children. However, our hope is to return to mask optional at the 11 AM service for those fully vaccinated when we return to stage 3 in the Austin/Travis County Risk Based COVID Guidelines (we currently remain in stage 5). We will, of course, continue to communicate updates and changes as quickly and widely as possible.
Though we have not yet reached Oct 10 and noting things can change quickly in a pandemic, I am finding hope in the fact that we will soon begin, again, to both worship and learn together on Sunday mornings at St. Julian's. Our last "regular" Sunday morning was about the second Sunday of March 2020, which means 20 months will have passed between offering 2 services and Christian Ed in-person on a Sunday morning at St. Julian's. That is, indeed, a significant period of time.
And, I mention that with two thoughts rumbling around in my mind. The first is just that it feels hopeful, and I believe we could all use a good helping of hope right now. As the one who teaches the oldest class of kiddos, there are not words to describe how much I have missed our time together, and how giddy it makes me to know that I will be in the same room talking life and faith with them again soon. And, second, I mention this as an opportunity to express gratitude...really a heart-felt thanks to all for leaning in and staying connected to your St. Julian's family in this time of isolation and anxiety; for being sure that our staff has been paid and our building is around to re-enter by continuing to give financially; and for taking care of each other in these most difficult days. As much as your clergy and lay leadership has entered into this pastoral work, I have heard countless stories of how folk from St. Julian's have, in a response to their own walk with God in Christ, made great efforts to stay connected and serve one another. I believe it is for times such as these that the church exists and "gets" to be the very thing God called us into being to be...a community of love and belonging that manifests the love of God in each other's lives through genuine care and connection.
If we can be of service or answer any questions, feel free, as always, to reach out to Jonathan or me (contact info below). I hope this reaches you and yours as healthy and well as possible.
Peace and Warm Friendship,
In-Person/Indoors Holy Communion at 9 and 11 AM
No RSVP necessary, masks required at 9 AM and 11 AM.
9 AM Holy Communion on Zoom
Meeting ID: 833 1790 6701
Phone Number to Dial in: (346) 248-7799
A recording of the service will be available by noon each Sunday
at our Facebook Page.