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Weekly E-News - August 27, 2020

Updated Guidelines for Congregational Life

From Bishop Reed, Fr. Mike and the Vestry

Bishop Reed has updated the COVID-19 guidelines for a Modified Return to Congregational Life

Churches that have resumed in-person worship are still required to adhere to the previous guidelines:

  • wear face masks;
  • maintain social distance of six feet;
  • practice good hygiene; and
  • sanitize common areas.

Under a previous amendment of the guidelines churches may hold in-person vestry meetings, host in-person AA and 12 step recovery meetings, and resume outreach ministries that meet immediate needs.

Earlier this month Bishop Reed gave the Episcopal schools of the diocese permission to reopen after developing a plan to implement CDC guidelines and obtaining vestry approval of the start date for in-person classes. Our school has prepared the appropriate guidelines and the vestry has given permission for in-person classes to begin Monday, August 24, 2020. 

Under the Bishop’s newest guidelines churches may 

  • Offer in-person gatherings for education and formation classes for all ages; 
  • Provide childcare; 
  • Allow outside groups to resume in-person meetings;
  • Baptize; and 
  • Permit clergy to visit the dying and offer the sacraments. 

The Bishop is not mandating these things but giving permission to resume these activities beginning September 14 under the following conditions:

  • Approval by the clergy and vestry; and 
  • Development of a written plan for the activities that has been approved of by the Diocese and communicated to the congregation. 

At its regular meeting earlier this week the vestry decided to not resume additional in-person activities at this time. This decision was based on wanting to wait and see what happens following the Labor Day weekend and the return to school, the current number of cases per capita and the positivity rate, and needing time to conduct a survey about how many people will return to additional in-person activities. Depending on the situation over the next few weeks the vestry will consider the possibility of resuming further in-person activities in early October.  

You will receive a phone call soon to answer some survey questions that will assist the vestry in discerning what is the next right thing for St. Philip’s to do. 

Please feel free to contact me or any vestry member if you have questions or if you have or know of anyone who has pastoral needs at this time. 

God’s peace be with you, -- Mike+

"Sunday Night Live" - Youth Grades 6-12+!  
Join the youth around the diocese this Sunday! 

Sunday, August 30th at 8pm

Open to youth in rising 6th grade-graduated seniors.

Join youth from all across the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas for an evening of worship, prayer, teaching, and breakout groups. This situation is hard and we want to gather together so that we can hold those difficult things up to God and to each other. This group will meet via Zoom, register today and the Zoom details will be sent to you before the call. 

Registration can be found here: www.tinyurl.com/sundaynightlive

School is Back in Session
And St. Philip's sent them back with a blessing! 

On Sunday, August 23rd, we had a "virtual" back to school blessing for the students, teachers, administrators and other school staff.

We ask that you continue to to pray for the health, safety, and education of all throughout the school year. Thank you to all who provided your back to school photos that were included in the video.

AUGUST BIRTHDAYS
31 Adelaide Gerdes

SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS 
1   Jack Fitzgerald
2   Marchal Oswald
3   Pat Carver
4   Jim Woodward
5   Sharon Wilson
8   Clarissa Neutze
9   Browder Graves, Pamela Haines
11  Chris Carper, Conrad Klein, Kyra Routh
12  Cleo Lemon
15  Sherman Mumme, Caitlin Wimberley
17  Sarah Buchanan, Rebekah Lamb
18  Kay Anderson
19  Lane Kalmring
20  Don McLaughlin, Nicholas Mumme
21  Sarah Buckner
22  Dorothy Jimenez
23  Brenda Martin
28  Phyllis Hellums
29  Lory Zimmerman
30  Lewis Downing, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Huffstutler

SEPTEMBER ANNIVERSARIES
 1  Mike and Cyndy Marsh 
11 Ronnie and Brenda Martin
19 Gary and Janice Griffin

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