11/21/2020: LINKS TO LATEST NEWS about COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic
Our church has no plans to re-open soon. Meanwhile, we continue to gather by video and phone.
Video Streaming Church Services
A Re-Gathering Update for November 20, 2020
Dear SsAM Family,
Our lives and lifestyles were altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and our church stopped gathering indoors to worship over eight months ago. The decision to close our doors to in-person worship, in order to protect the members of our congregation and love our neighbors as ourselves was not difficult. Determining, however, how and when to regather indoors is.
In order to reopen responsibly, a robust and highly detailed plan is required that takes into account multiple aspects including CDC and State of Delaware regulations. This plan must be established and approved by the Diocese, as a measure of ensuring it captures the most current and up to date understanding of public health.
We are pleased to share a regathering taskforce has been formed and is currently taking steps to build such a plan. This is a group of volunteers who have a passion for SsAM and our mission. Until this work is complete, our church on 8th and Shipley will remain closed to in-person worship as well as meetings and special events. As a result, we will not plan re-gather until March 31, 2021. This decision will be evaluated by Vestry by February 1, 2021.
COVID-19 does not discriminate as hundreds of thousands of people have contracted the virus and the number of hospitalizations and deaths continues to rise. To that end, SsAM must continue doing our part to protect ourselves, and the people with whom we interact daily. Online services and morning and evening prayers will continue. As we are an extremely relational and highly missional community, we will continue to explore creative ways to connect all of us during this exceptional time.
The Rev. David T. Andrews, Jr., Rector
Rachel Gaskell, Senior Warden
Peggy Shane, Junior Warden
Staying Connected With One Another During This Time:
Connections are vitally important at this critical time. A group of parishioners are in contact with our shut in community by phone. Our shut in population is at the most risk at this time and they are being cared for. Each week they receive a package in the mail from SsAM to help them stay connected. Bishop Brown is encouraging that we find a way to stay connected with everyone in the parish. To that end I sent a video message to the leaders of various ministries such as the choir, altar guild, acolytes, vestry, ushers and property to name a few. I have asked these leaders to be in touch with their members and then encourage members of each of these ministries to be in touch with one another via phone or email.
SsAM Prayer during COVID-19 Pandemic
Oh God, you have promised that when two or three are gathered in your name, you are in the midst of them. During this period of social distancing, we, your people at SsAM, are not able to gather physically, but are still gathering in the Spirit. We are praying for the safety and well-being of our family and friends; the people we serve in the community; the first responders and all essential workers, seen and unseen, and all caregivers; those who are ill and their families; and for all who have died. Inspire the governance of all human institutions to be fair, just, and impartial. Help us to not only keep the FAITH, but be FAITHFUL in the use of our time, talent and treasure in the support of our VISION, MISSION and GUIDING PRINCIPLES. We thank you for the gift of the HOLY SPIRIT to guide and comfort us during these times and always.
Fulfilling Your Pledge At This Time
During this difficult time your financial pledge is very important and I wish to encourage you to keep your pledge up to date. I realize that the closing of businesses has and will cause a financial hardship and it is important that you take care of your families and loved ones. If you already are having your pledge debited from your bank account this will continue. If you usually place your offering in the collection plate, please send your pledge to SsAM in the mail. If you would like to make a pledge you may also do so. You may also donate using a credit card through the SsAM website — CLICK HERE to learn more. These are challenging times for many in the City of Wilmington and if you would like to give to the Rector’s discretionary account so that I might help this at risk population you may also send a check to the rector’s discretionary account.
Pray Without Ceasing
Take time each day to be still and to know God. There are wonderful resources to help center during this time. You may visit the blog of our own Christina Brennan Lee at http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com as well as the wonderful and timely photo prayers by Danny Schweers at www.photoprayer.com. Our meditation and centering prayer ministry will be meeting virtually during this time. If you would like to join on Zoom please contact us and include meditation in the subject line.
At the moment we are open and serving our community by offering our public rest room and Friendship House continues to provide support daily from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. They will be modifying the Sunday breakfast by providing hardboiled eggs and coffee.
About COVID-19 and the Coronavirus Pandemic
For the Sick
Heavenly Father, giver of life and health: Comfort and relieve those who are sick, and give your power of healing to those who minister to their needs. May they be strengthened in their weakness and have confidence in your loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (modified BCP 260)
For Doctors and Nurses
Sanctify, O Lord, those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP 460)
For People Facing Uncertainty
God of the present moment, God who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the frantic heart; bring hope and courage to us all as we wait in uncertainty. Bring hope that you will make us the equal of whatever lies ahead. Bring us courage to endure what cannot be avoided, for your will is health and wholeness; you are God, and we need you.” (excerpt from: “A New Zealand Prayer Book.”)
About the Photo
In the photo above, we see Calec Perez Cruz being blessed by military veterans on the day before he was to report for duty, him having just joined the U.S. Army. This was in late February of 2020, just weeks before a state of emergency was declared. It was a touching moment! Click the photo to see it larger.