The Diocese of Missouri has given permission for public worship indoors. Liturgies will resume at The Church of St. Michael & St. George this coming Sunday, June 21.
It is important to stress that this will not be a return to normal. There will be a large segment of our parishioners who will choose not to attend in person out of concern for their own health. Someday, when we are all able to be together in church singing hymns and anthems, and receiving communion at the rail, things will be normal but that won’t be for some time.
If you aren’t able to attend, I want you to know that you are not being left behind. Our online Sunday morning prayer liturgy will continue through the summer.
These public liturgies are temporary accommodations to our present circumstances. They will be uncustomary in the way everything is uncustomary in the midst of this pandemic. Our protocols lay out all of the precautions we are taking. At this time, it is prudent to be masked and socially distanced, not to shake hands, not to sing hymns together, and not to linger over a cup of coffee. We will enter through the Wydown door and leave on the Ellenwood side. Due to limited capacity seating, we are taking reservations for each service. You may also register by calling the receptionist, Becky Arthur at 314.721.1502 Monday thru Friday by 4:00 PM.
We have all been away from worshiping as a community for a while now. It may take some practice to get back in the habit of things. Gathering on a weekly basis to engage in an activity doesn’t come naturally to self-centered, self-consumed twenty-first century people. It takes some practice. And we are out of practice. Resuming public worship is a good time to remember that coming together at church is about gathering together to offer praise to God. Worship is an experiment with the subversive idea that of all the things we need in life–what we need most is God. At our Sunday liturgies, we confess that the majority of our most pressing needs in life are insoluble by our own efforts. We need some power greater than our own powers. We’ve got to have some source of hope beyond our own best ideas. We need God. If you come to church, I hope that you will meet and be met by God because I believe that propitious meeting is the source of your greatest hope.
We literally live in dangerous times. Every aspect of our lives has been recalibrated on the basis of risk management. Worship at The Church of St. Michael & St. George is no different. Nonetheless, in the midst of this danger, we will come together to seek out God and be nourished by the sacrifice of His Son. If you don’t have symptoms of this virus and have not had recent contact with an infected person, I invite you to join us next Sunday.
– The Rev. Andrew J. Archie