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A Message from Bishop Kym Lucas: The Time to Which We Are Called
Dear Siblings in Christ,
At a recent Town Hall meeting in Milwaukee, President Biden was asked when he thought our country would be back to normal (i.e. able to gather in large groups, indoors, without masks). His optimistic prediction for some kind of normalcy was Christmas.
On hearing those words, I had to pause, take a breath, and let them sink in. Like so many of you, I am tired of life with COVID-19. I long for the days when we can gather in the fullness of fellowship and community with one another. And while with each person vaccinated we get closer to realizing a return to normalcy, we are not there yet.
I understand that another Easter with COVID-19 is not what any of us wanted, but we cannot relax in our resolve to care for one another. Even with the hope that vaccines offer, this pandemic is still with us: people are still getting sick, being hospitalized, and dying. Our nation has lost almost half a million people from this pandemic and Colorado has lost nearly six thousand.
I encourage all congregational leaders to continue to exercise vigilance and caution when planning worship. And because of the differences in our congregational contexts, we know there is no “one-size-fits-all.” This means that clergy, wardens, and vestries have to do the tough work of prayerful discernment, using the best information available from your local, state and national health authorities. My position continues to be that we, as the Church, should make whatever sacrifices we must to protect the most vulnerable.
As you contemplate your worship plans for Holy Week and Easter, I encourage congregation leaders to err on the side of caution; it is our call to let Love be the measure of our actions. Outdoor gatherings continue to be safest, when people are masked and physically distanced. If leaders determine they must gather indoors for worship, then I ask that those gatherings have no more that 50 persons be present, that buildings have appropriate ventilation and fresh air, and that in all circumstances, we employ masks and observe proper physical distancing. As I have said previously, I leave final decisions regarding worship in the hands of the clergy and lay leaders of each parish. I trust you to know your circumstances and context, and to make loving decisions for the safety and spiritual nurture of our people.
I realize that our work in this time is difficult and the lack of certainty is frustrating. And yet this is the time to which we are called. Let Christ’s love guide your decisions. The staff of the Office of the Bishop is available to assist you in your discernment.
Kimberly Lucas Bishop of Colorado