Outdoor Eucharist Gatherings at St. Christopher’s
Many of us at our faith home of St. Christopher’s have been patiently waiting during the COVID-19 pandemic for the opportunity to once more gather together in worship. Starting July 1, ECMN Bishop Craig Loya has added a provision, along with guidelines, to allow for limited outdoor worship in our faith communities. This provision is being made and based upon good scientific consensus around reduced risk of gathering in this way, provided safety precautions are in place. We continue to rapidly learn more about the virus through the evolving work of public health and other medical professionals. We will continue to apply health and safety best practices into our worship planning.
It is important to bear in mind that outdoor gatherings at this time are not without risk. There are many who lead and attend faith communities who will not, and should not, be expected to expose themselves to this risk. We encourage you to be mindful of this reality, particularly if you are over age 65 and/or have pre-existing health conditions or other concerns. Jesus’ way of love continues to look like the way of an abundance of caution, and erring on the side of being too careful.
Our intention is to provide small-scale outdoor worship options, as well as continuing to post weekly video presentations of the service. Outdoor service times will be Wednesdays at 12:15 pm beginning July 8, in the north (Kitchen) courtyard. A Sunday service will be held at 8:00 am beginning July 12, in the grassy area in the north parking lot.
The following health and safety safeguards will be followed:
This initial trial of small in-person gatherings is an experiment in how we can safely gather in worship at this time. It is also intended to allow persons to continue to participate in Adult Education Zoom forums, and Children’s Ministry Zoom gatherings on Sunday mornings.
In our worship, we are open to the new, while valuing and maintaining our traditional Episcopal liturgy.
St. Christopher’s, rather than high or low, has a broad-church worship style. Our liturgy usually follows Rite II, with other approved liturgical sources. The Holy Eucharist is at the center of worship, whether at the contemplative 8 a.m. Sunday service, the 10:30 a.m. Sunday service, in which music plays a prominent part, or the Wednesday noon service. (Summer service is at 9:30 AM.)
The sermon, whether offered by the priest or deacon, enlightens, challenges, encourages and inspires the congregation. A variety of music, from ancient to contemporary, is presented by our talented music director, choir and our bell choir.