[Via email] Dear St. Michaelites and Friends:
What a blessing it has been to have live worship during the month of June, seeing so many of your faces has been truly a gift! We miss you when we can’t see you! Indeed, Three weeks ago on June 7th, and based on the recommendation of the Re-Opening Task Force of St. Michael’s Church, we opened the church doors for worship after being closed for 11 Sundays due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. We reopened on several conditions, including the key condition, that the Covid-19 cases would flatten and decline in South Carolina as well as right here in Charleston.
Since that time, the Re-Opening Task Force, led by Dr. Jerry Reves (Epidemiologist at MUSC) has continued to monitor and meet together. In the last two weeks, Covid-19 cases have sky rocketed both in our state and in our region, with hospitals filling up quickly and new spaces being created for patients. As promised, the Re-Opening Task Force kept meeting to assess, including Monday, June 22. At that time and based on original criteria, the Re-Opening Task Force recommended to the Vestry a pause in our re-opening process. The vestry, wardens and I accepted their recommendation to pause all live-in-person worship taking effect Sunday, July 5.
Beyond the original criteria, we also made the decision based on three other factors:
1). With hospitals filling up so fast, we as St. Michael’s Church cannot contribute to the problem of overflowing Covid-19 units. We want to be part of the solution to flatten the curve.
2). After having been opened for what will be four Sundays, including the funeral for the Rev. Dr. Peter Moore and Carolina Day, this will allow us to have the time to completely sterilize the church and prepare for our eventual reopening.
3). We will also use this time to complete several projects in the Sanctuary including the final installation of our live stream capability to make sure when we do come back in person we will simultaneously also be live on computer.
Personally, I am so glad we had the month of June to be open and see so many of you! That re-opening was a test run to help us be even more effective when we do open up.
In the meantime, we will continue to produce our weekly worship videos and all our zoom discipleship offerings. That continues regardless of any circumstance. I know that for many (including me) this is a very difficult decision. However I want to assure you it is the right decision. As Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 10: “We have the right to do anything, but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything, but not everything is constructive.” How do we serve the other? I believe right now the answer is to worship in our homes and participate in the zoom offerings and do our part to help flatten the curve.
You are loved, we are a phone call away. Stay faithful dear friends!
Blessings in Christ,
The Rev. Alfred Zadig, Jr.
Mr. Leland H. Cox
Mrs. Laura Waring Gruber