Weekly E-News - May 20, 2020

Resuming In-Person Worship 
Holy Eucharist on June 7.  

“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’”
- Psalm 122:1

I don’t know the context for the psalmist saying those words, but I know his (or her) gladness at hearing them and I’ll bet you do too. We’ve waited a long time to hear someone say those words. Bishop Reed has now said those words to the Diocese and I, as your priest, now say them to you. “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

I say those words to you with thanksgiving and in joyful anticipation of celebrating with you the Holy Eucharist. I say them also with concern for your health and well being, knowing that the virus is not gone and we are not returning to things as they used to be. 

While we cannot eliminate the risks associated with gathering in person, the vestry and I have prepared a plan to manage and, hopefully, minimize those risks. Please be mindful of this and your own risk factors such as age and health as you discern whether or not to resume worshipping in person. Some will choose to resume now, some will wait a bit longer. There is no one right answer for everyone. 

The Plan

As you may have read in last week’s e-news, Bishop Reed has given churches permission to resume a modified form of in-person worship beginning May 25. Pending diocesan approval, St. Philip’s will resume in-person worship (Holy Eucharist) on Trinity Sunday, June 7, at 10:30 a.m. 

Our plan is to celebrate the Eucharist each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in the church. At this time we are not resuming the 8:00 a.m. service on Sundays or the healing service on Thursdays. Meetings and classes will continue on Zoom.

We will continue to live-stream the Sunday service even after resuming in-person worship. You can access the live-stream on our Facebook page (even if you do not have a Facebook account). 

The church office will reopen on Wednesday, May 27. Office hours will be 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Between Now and Then

  • The Sunday services for May 24th and 31st will be Morning Prayer. They will be available by live-stream only, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
  • In accordance with the diocesan Guidelines for the Phased Reopening of Churches in West Texas, the vestry has approved a plan for resuming in-person worship. The plans have been sent to the diocesan offices for approval. They will be published in the e-news, on our Facebook page, and on our website after being approved by the Diocese. 
  • The church and offices will be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Orientation and training regarding liturgical changes and health and safety measures will be provided for employees and volunteers (altar guild, acolytes, readers, ushers, greeters). 
  • Additional equipment and technology resources will be put in place to enhance our worship and promote health and safety.
What You May Expect
  • We will observe social distancing guidelines and wear masks. Please bring and wear a mask. Masks will be available at church if your forget to bring one.
  • Ushers will assist with seating and dismissing the congregation. Please do not gather in groups before or after the service.
  • Prayer Books and hymnals will not be used. We are not able at this time to have congregational singing. Music and the liturgy will be on television screens in the church. 
  • Please refrain from shaking hands, hugging, kissing, or other physical contact including at the peace. 
  • Communion will be distributed at the bottom of the steps in front of the altar. Only the bread will be distributed. 
  • The church will be cleaned and sanitized before and after each service. The offices and restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized daily.
  • Please enter and leave the church through the Getty St. doors.
  • The kitchen, Briscoe Hall, Grace Hall, classrooms, nursery, and playground will remain closed.
What If?

As you’ve seen from the last couple of months things can change quickly and often. The vestry and I will keep in contact with the Diocese, stay abreast of guidelines and recommendations from medical experts, and be mindful of our local conditions. We’ll adjust our plan as necessary to fit what is happening.  

Thank You

We’re all “faithing” our way through this and figuring it out as we go, and I am grateful to be doing that with you. I am grateful to be your priest. Thank you for your love, support, and trust. I am inspired by your faith, care of one another, and the many ways you continue to be “a public face of Christ.” I look forward to being with you, whether in person or online. You remain in my love and prayers. 

Glory to God whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine:
Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church,
and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20,21

God’s peace be with you,



Sunday School Updates 

Please note the changes.

Children's Sunday School
Last week was the final week of the children's class. Classes will resume in the fall. However, we are working on some children's activities to be included in the e-news. Watch for more information. 

Adult Sunday School
Fr. Mike's book study will continue. Last week Zoom had a major outage and we were not able to have class. We will meet this week, May 17, beginning at 9:00 a.m. rather than 9:15. This will give us a bit more time and work better when we resume in-person worship. We are on page 133.

Fr. Mike will send a new zoom link, meeting ID, and password. Please keep this information as it will be the log-in information for the next several weeks. The information can also be found on the Parishioner's Portal of our website. If you would like to join the class and do not receive the email, please contact Cyndy

The church's bedtime prayers.

Each Thursday evening at 8:00 p.m. we will gather (in our own homes) via Zoom to pray Compline. Please join us as we pray that "The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end." Join the Zoom Meeting Here

Compline can be thought of as the church's bedtime prayers. It is the final "office" of the day and is one of the four daily offices of prayer in the Book of Common Prayer (page 127). The English word compline comes from the Latin completorium,  St. Benedict, in the sixth century, was the first to use the word to refer to the prayers at the end of the day. In the monastic tradition the "Great Silence" followed compline and the entire community observed silence until it was time for the morning prayers. 

As you may know the Diocese of West Texas has an extensive camps and conferences ministry and offers a wide range of opportunities in a variety of settings: Camp Capers in the hill country, Mustang Island Conference Center near Port Aransas, and Duncan Park in the mountains of Colorado.

All facilities will be open this summer but with a modified schedule as follows:

Camp Capers Summer and Fall Dates

  • Senior High Camp B (July 5 – 11)
    For rising 10th to 12th, and graduated 12th graders
  • Junior High Camp B (July 12 – 18)
    For rising 8th & 9th graders
    Intermediate Camp B (July 26 – August 1)
    For rising 6th & 7th graders
  • Primary Camp B (August 2 – 8)
    For rising 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders
  • Mother/Daughter Retreat (September 11 – 13)
  • Mother/Son and Father/Daughter Retreat (October 9 – 11)

Mustang Island Family Camp Dates

  • Session 3 (June 11 – 14)
  • Session 4 (June 18 – 21)
  • Session 5 (June 25 – 28)
  • Session 6 (July 2 – 5)
  • Session 7 (July 9 – 12)
  • Session 8 (July 16 – 19)
  • Session 9 (July 23 – 26)
  • Session 10 (July 30 – August 2)
  • Session 11 (August 6 – 9)
  • Labor Day Family Camp (September 4 – 7)

Duncan Park Summer and Fall Dates

  • Veteran Family Camp (July 5 – 10)
  • DWTX Family Camp 2 (July 12 – 17)
  • Adult Backpacking Camp, led by the Rev. Mike Marsh (July 19 – 25)
  • DWTX Family Camp 1 (July 26 – 31)
  • Book of Nature Retreat, led by the Rev. Mike Marsh (August 20 – 24)
  • Enneagram and Spiritual Practice Retreat, led by Lucy Strandlund (September 3 – 7)
Get more information and details on the St. Philip's website.

May Birthdays
2    Betty Hilderbran
3    Harlee Haag, Darrell Zimmerman
4    Backor McLaughlin
6    Bob Huddleston
7    Mike Stroff
9    Becky Capt
13  Pepper Kinzer
15  Michael Stroff
16  Bobbie Jean Low
18  Brenda Harrison, Steven McNew
22  Lucy Capt, George Harrison
24  Cecilia Capt
26  Yolanda Bird, Sky Lewey
27  Kyle Klein
30  Heath Sutherland

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