UPDATE: May 5, 2020
Following instructions released March 27, 2020, from the Rt. Rev. Andy Doyle, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, St. Alban’s will move forward in the following ways:
Worshiping together is a huge part of who we are at St. Alban’s, and we will continue to do so. We will worship from home.
In the Diocese of Texas, per the instructions of Bishop Andy Doyle, public worship services have been suspended until further notice.
How will we worship from home? The clergy of St. Alban's will be live-streaming a service of Morning Prayer from the church on Sunday at 9:00 AM on Facebook Live (facebook.com/stalbanswaco). Gather with your family or a friends at home and join us on your smartphone or computer. A PDF of the bulletin will be available online for you to follow along with the responses. After the service, the recorded video will be available for those who couldn’t join us at 9:00 AM. At this service, you will hear the Word read and preached, we will sing and pray together, and we will remember the unity God’s church, even in challenging times. We are not canceling worship—we will simply be worshiping differently.
We will continue to offer Morning Prayer virtually via livestream (again, on Facebook Live) Monday through Friday at 7:30 AM. Meeting daily to pray the service of Morning Prayer (also called the Daily Office) has been the anchor of Anglican devotion for centuries. Your clergy can think of no better response to this pandemic than to gather daily in prayer.
We will not gather on campus for Sunday School. This applies to all ages. When feasible, we will offer a livestreamed Sunday School conversation. I plan on offering one this Sunday at 10:15 AM. Again: Facebook.com/stalbanswaco.
WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY
The Rector will continue to offer this Bible Study virtually via livestream at facebook.com/stalbanswaco.
Instead of Holy Communion at 11:30 AM, we will offer a livestream of Noonday Prayer at 12:00 NOON.
These may continue to meet at their own discretion. The Rev. Neal McGowan will be reaching out to Small Group leaders.
Youth group’s Wednesday night meetings are suspended for the time being.
If you would like a pastoral visit, please call or email us. We will evaluate the safest thing for us and for you, which may be over the phone. If you are in a nursing home or similar facility, please be aware that Gov. Abbot has asked that all non-essential personnel suspend all visits to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. This includes clergy. The one exception is clergy who are called to end-of-life moments.
AA AND TWELVE-STEP RECOVERY
These groups may meet at their discretion, though experts are recommending no gatherings larger than 10 people. A.A. has communicated alternatives on their website, including the use of intergroup, which offers online gatherings. If you have questions about whether your group will meet at St. Alban’s, please contact your group leader or your sponsor.
Director Julia Hardy has suspended on-campus classes and rehearsals through March 22. Teachers will offer online lessons only during this time. March recitals are canceled. Please contact Dr. Hardy for more information.
If you have questions about whether a ministry or program is meeting, please contact the leader of that ministry. In general, experts discourage meetings larger than 10 people.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFO
- While our campus is not shut down, staff members will be working from home when possible. If you need to talk with a staff member, office drop-ins will likely not be effective. Please email them. A staff email directory is available here.
- We have created a dedicated page on our website with the latest information on schedule changes and worship modifications at St. Alban’s here.
- The current schedule changes are temporary and will be evaluated weekly. We will continue to communicate regularly via email, social media, and our website.
- Please be sure to follow us on facebook, instagram, and twitter.
The following resources will be helpful as you seek to stay abreast of the latest developments:
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019
- McLennan County Health Department: waco-texas.com/cms-healthdepartment
- World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- Health Resources of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas: https://www.epicenter.org/health-resources/
- Episcopal Relief and Development: https://www.episcopalrelief.org/what-we-do/us-disaster-program/faith-based-response-to-epidemics/
A Prayer for People Critically Ill or Facing Great Uncertainty
God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.
-Adapted from New Zealand Prayer Book, p. 765
Read past parish communications about COVID-19 below.