Here’s how to help.
Beloved in Christ,
As you might expect, we’re at the point on “the curve” when we’ve begun to hear that some of our parishioners have been infected with COVID-19. In the last twenty-four hours, I have been notified of four people specifically. Of course, there may be more.
According to the CDC, there’s no recommended action for us to take, since we’re more than sixteen days out from any fellow parishioner exposure. If someone were going to show symptoms and/or stay quarantined, it would have had to be done within the fourteen days window, which has already past.
As you also know, the directionality of any possible vectors for each of these individuals is impossible to calculate. Given limited testing, the rate of transmission, and an incubation range of nearly two weeks, matching a single transmission to any one event is at best speculative. However, for the sake of transparency, I still wanted you to know that if you take the full range for incubation, it’s possible, despite the precautions and social distancing measures we took on March 15th, there may have been some exposure to the virus at church.
It is not special that All Angels is affected by this. This should feel obvious now. As I’ve spoken to other priests throughout our Diocese, those parishes who are unaffected are the exception, not the rule. I am personally grateful to God that we seem to have been affected later than most, which has given us more time to prepare and also good examples to follow. Most of all, we should recognize that there is no shame whatsoever for those individuals who have been diagnosed. They are lucky to have been able to get a test and hear results, and what these results show is that many, many more of us already have this than we know.
I encourage you to behave as if you have it now. The numbers show that many if not most people will have it and most will be only minimally affected by it.
How can you help?
As you heard me say on Sunday, we have formed a COVID-19 “Task Force” that is working hard to organize our response to this pandemic. They are reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please e-mail them if you have any needs, ideas, prayer requests–and especially, if you have skills, talent, or time to contribute to our efforts. Within the COVID-19 Task Force, there are smaller teams focused on tracking data, communications, supporting house churches, brainstorming creative ways to respond and support each other, and prayer.
They need your help. Please reach out.
The best way to help fill out this survey so that we have your contact info. Doing this will help us connect you with other parishioners in your neighborhood/geographic region. Please fill out this form whether or not you’re in a house church, and whether or not you currently have any specific pastoral needs. This situation is changing by the day, and you never know when you might have a need, or might be able to fill in a need.