Bishop and Rector’s Journal

Bishop and Rector’s Journal
Thursday, November 18, 2021

Dear Family and Friends of St. Philip’s,

I have had a busy but productive week. I noticed this past Sunday that I am learning more names—a lot more. Hopefully each time I mess up and call someone the wrong name, I will get it corrected and lock it down. While I am impatient about learning everyone’s name, progress is being made.

The Covid 19 Committee recommended and the Vestry approved a number of changes that we will have regarding new Covid standards. These take effect this Sunday. They all fall within the Diocese of Florida guidelines. Here is the list of changes:

The wearing of masks is optional for those who have been vaccinated.

Books can return to the pews.

Coffee Hour can resume in the auditorium. Food is to be served. We are not to follow a smorgasbord pattern.

The choir can return provided those in the choir are vaccinated. I like to call this the “booster” choir!

Eucharist will be administered using intinction. If you cross your chest with your hands you are telling me you want a blessing. If you have a palm up you want bread only. If your hands are folded I will take a wafer, dip it into the chalice, and place it on your tongue.

The offering plates will remain in the back of the church.

The Gospel will be read from the middle of the church.

The Peace will remain limited.

Social distancing is reduced to three feet as opposed to six. No longer will pews be roped off.

While it is great to be able to reduce the Covid related restrictions, we must be mindful that should the cases in our area increase, we may have to return to the patterns of the past few months.

Last week I forgot to use hand sanitizer. To correct this error, I plan to do the following beginning this Sunday: First I will wash my hands in the pre-covid manner using water and the lavabo bowl. I will next use the sanitizer and then celebrate the Eucharist. After I give myself Communion I will use the sanitizer again. As I distribute Communion I will have one person near me with a spray sanitizer. When I touch a person’s forehead or head with a blessing I will then use the sanitizer. If accidentally I touch someone’s tongue or palm I will use the sanitizer before continuing.

For the past few weeks we have had some difficulties with one of the microphones in the choir area. The mic closest to the altar was very strong and drowned out the second mic and the singing of the congregation. Beginning this Sunday I hope the singing will sound more normal.

Our Thanksgiving service will be at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, November 24. It will include Holy Eucharist.

I will only be in for part of Wednesday next week. My reason is our oldest daughter, Madeleine, her husband, Dave, and their two children, Finley and Hunter, will be with us from Monday night until Sunday morning. They are driving from Milwaukee, and Finley, who is 3 and a half, will get introduced to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom this Tuesday. Meanwhile, May Ruth and I will take care of Hunter who is only 8 months old. My nickname for Finley is Squirmer because he’s tough to hold down. Hunter I call Sugar Bear. I call the Cecelia, the daughter of Lydia, and her husband, Jon, Heart Thief!

I wish all of you a delightful Thanksgiving! Forget the diet and have fun! With my love and best wishes, I remain,

Your brother in Christ,

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