Church and the Coronavirus

By: kcynar

03/11/20 06:53 PM
Category: General

"...I am giving the below directives effective Sunday, March 8.


 

READINGS, PRAYERS AND PREACHING -
SUNDAY, MARCH 22,2020, 8:00 AM - THE VERY. REV. DR. WALTER V. HILLEBRAND  WILL SHARE HIS PRAYERS, THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS FROM THE LECTERN OF GRACE CHURCH. CHECK BACK FOR THE URL LINK SUNDAY MORNING.

 

3-20-2020 - WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED BY THE EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF LONG ISLAND THAT ON SITE CHURCH SERVICES WILL NOT RESUME UNTIL MAY. 

Update - 3-15-20 - We have been informed that Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has ordered the closing of all public and private schools in the county for the next two weeks  .

Grace Day School Early Childhood Center and Above and Beyond will be closing immediately.  We will to continue monitoring the situation within the greater Massapequa community and will stay in communication with  county and state agencies to insure the health and well being of our students and staff. 

We must state again that there have been no coronavirus issues at Grace. We have taken all the necessary steps to continuously maintain the cleanliness of our facilities including barring access to our buildings and grounds to all non-school related groups and individuals. 

We will keep you posted as to any new or changing developments.

The Very Rev. Dr. Walter V. Hillebrand, TSSF

Update -  3-13-20 - Beloved Church Community, At the Bishop's directive ALL CHURCH SERVICES, meetings and events within Churches of the Diocese of Long Island have been suspended. 

While there is no immediate health issue at Grace Church or Day School, health officials and the Long Island Episcopal Diocese have urged,county-wide, that measures be taken to protect the health and safety of all our parishioners  and the community at large. Included are suspensions of all on campus Church activity -  All Church Services, Christian Education, Thrifty Boutique,  Young at Heart, Boy Scouts, Over Eaters, AA, and Pro-Soccer, Lenten Studies and all other groups.  

Please continue to remain calm and follow the guidelines from local County Health officials including frequent hand washing, staying away from crowds and from those who have flu type symptoms. We have taken extraordinary measures to heighten our cleaning procedures at church and within our school.

We ask that you be patient as this crisis takes its course and our communities return to normal.   Please reach out to the church office if you need anything by contacting 516-798-1122.

Beloved Grace family, even though our church building is closed, we are still here for you and your family.   May God comfort you all in this time of challenges and may He lead and guide us through these next few weeks. May the Grace and the Love of Christ be with you always.

Oceans of Love and Peace,

The Very Rev. Dr. Walter V. Hillebrand, TSSF Priest, Friend, and Family

 

Update - 3/12/2020 

While there is no immediate health issue at Grace Church or  Day School, Health officials and the Long Island Episcopal Diocese have urged county-wide that on site meetings and gatherings be postponed or cancelled  as a precaution to stop any possible spread of the coronavirus.  Therefore, all meetings and events have been canceled until further notice.  This includes Young at Heart, Boy Scouts, Over Eaters, AA, and Pro-Soccer. 

Church Services will continue as scheduled.  

 Posted 3/11/2020 - Bishop's Directive - 

"...I am giving the below directives effective Sunday, March 8. These are an update from the suggested guidelines that were distributed on Feb. 27. I previously allowed for local options but that is no longer the case. 

 

Holy Eucharist:

  • Though drinking from the common cup is safer than intinction, we are being advised to cease the use of the common cup. Effective immediately, the cup can be used by the priest but offering it to the altar party and/or the congregation should cease until further notice.
  • Under no circumstance should the wine be administered by intinction (dipping the bread in the cup), whether by the person administering communion or by the person receiving communion.
  • With this in mind, the Eucharist shall be administered in one kind with bread alone. As few people as possible should administer the bread, preferably the priest. Every effort should be made to avoid touching the hands of those receiving.
  • Please explain that this is a temporary directive intended to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • Please re-emphasize that receiving only the consecrated bread at the time of communion is full and sufficient reception of the sacrament.

 

Handwashing:

  • All clergy and eucharistic ministers will thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water prior to each service. Hand sanitizer should be applied during the Offertory as part of the preparation for Communion.
  • Please encourage all your parishioners to wash their hands frequently, including before and after worship services.

Fonts and other receptacles of holy water:

  • Health officials have recommended that parishes empty all fonts and other receptacles of holy water as respiratory droplets carrying COVID-19 may also be transmitted through hands being dipped in the water.

The Peace and other Greetings:

  • The peace should be administered without direct physical contact (a bow, nod, wave, etc.)  
  • Refrain from direct physical contact when greeting the clergy and other members before or following the service.

Other

  • Please continue to encourage parishioners who feel ill to stay at home and strongly consider rescheduling/canceling large gatherings in which people will be tightly gathered.

 

We will continue to be in touch as more information becomes available. 

 

Thank you all for your continued faithfulness, patience, and prayers. 

 

 

Bishop L. Provenzano