St. Julian's Returns to Fully Online Worship, Sunday Mornings at 10:00 AM (beginning this Sunday, Nov 22):
November 19, 2020
Dear St. Julian's Family:
The St. Julian's Forward Task Force met this afternoon and has determined to return to fully online worship in response to the rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in our community. This change will begin this Sunday, Nov 22 and continue until, at least, we return to Stage 3 in the City of Austin/Travis County COVID-19: Risk Based Guidelines. Our one online Sunday service of Morning Prayer will be each Sunday at 10 AM, and we will use the same Zoom link we are currently using for our 11 AM service (link here).
We know this will be disappointing to some, and we are all, in leadership, feeling some sadness around this choice. However, we are committed both to doing everything we can to keep those in our family of faith safe, most especially, those most at risk to the disease and to participating with those in the larger community who are making significant sacrifices for the common good. We will certainly communicate as quickly and widely as possible, as soon as, we determine that we have reached the point to safely return to limited size, in-person worship.
The very good news is that we have done this successfully before and really have never stopped offering a Spirit filled, deeply connected, meaningful worship service delivered fully online each and every Sunday. Even after beginning limited size, in-person worship, our fully online service remained our largest weekly service in terms of attendance each week. This reflects the fact that we have had to significantly limit the size of in-person worship and the intentional choice of a majority of our community to avoid larger in-person gatherings.
Though we don't know, again, when we will return to limited size, in-person worship, we do have contingency plans for Christmas that include both in-person options and fully online options. We will be communicating the direction those plans will take over the coming weeks. Moreover, I will be hosting another "Q&A with the Vicar" on Sunday, Dec 6th following the 10 AM service (at the same link as the service) to update the congregation on our COVID-19 response, Christmas plans, closing on the 9-acre tract of land we currently have under contract, and answer any other questions you may have.
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday online at 10 AM and hope we will have robust attendance, as we stand together with God in Christ as our center even while remaining physically distanced. Please keep all those facing and fighting COVID-19 in your prayers along with our special church. As Jesus proclaimed in the Gospel of John, we do not worship our God in any particular place but in spirit and truth, and we will continue to do just that together from the sacred spaces we create in our homes.
If I can answer any questions, please feel free to reach out. I hope you have a safe and meaningful Thanksgiving. Please know I will be giving special thanks that day for the life, ministry and friendship we share. I am so grateful for each of you. God bless.
Peace and Warm Friendship,
The Rev. Miles R. Brandon, II
Vicar, St. Julian of Norwich Episcopal Church