Weekly E-News - May 6, 2020

Planning For A Phased Reopening of St. Philip's 
Diocesan Guidelines  

To the people of St. Philip’s: Grace and peace be with you.

As I mentioned in my sermon last week, the question of reopening is before us. That question exists at the national, state, local, and personal levels. It is a question that the vestry began to consider yesterday evening in light of Bishop Reed recently issuing Guidelines for the Phased Reopening of Churches in West Texas

The question of St. Philip’s reopening has not yet been answered. It is a work in progress. The Diocese of West Texas remains under a suspension of in-person gatherings through May 15. In a recent webinar with diocesan clergy Bishop Reed cautioned us to not be surprised if that suspension is extended beyond May 15.

Only Bishop Reed has authority to say when congregations may begin a phased reopening of in-person worship. He has, however, asked that we begin planning for reopening. At this time it seems unlikely that we would resume some form of in-person worship before June. 

For now we will continue our online gatherings for worship, Sunday School, and Compline. These will continue even after in-person worship has resumed.

Whenever we do resume in-person worship it will neither look nor feel like what we have done before. We may be in the building but we will not be able to go back to the way it used to be. We will be using social distancing and other protective measures including masks. This will likely be our new normal for quite some time. 

As you know, the risk of infection cannot be eliminated, only managed and hopefully minimized. The vestry and I are developing a plan that provides for in-person gatherings that are meaningful in terms of worship and prayer, and implements practical and sustainable health and safety practices that minimize the risk of virus transmission.

As your priest my primary concern is your safety and well being. My default has been and will continue to be people first.

Just like you I have opinions and feelings about what has happened, what we’ve lost (and what we have gained), and what comes next. Those are not unimportant for any of us. I hope, however, we will set them aside for the common good and love of our neighbor.

I remember you daily in prayers with thanksgiving and love. I am grateful to be your priest, for your trust, and for your presence in my life. 

Please let me know if you have questions, or if you need anything or know of someone who does. 

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, today and always. 


Worship and Classes 

Connection through love and technology.

Morning Prayer
We will continue live-streaming the Sunday service through our Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. each week. The Easter prelude video and music will begin at 10:15 a.m. This Sunday, May 10, is the Fifth Sunday in Easter. Please join us.

Sunday School Classes
Sunday School Classes will continue on Sundays via Zoom. Fr. Mike and Ms. Haag will email you the link and password. They can also be found on the Parishioner's Portal of our website. If you would like to join one of these classes and you do not receive the email, please contact Cyndy

  • 9:15 a.m. Fr. Mike's Book Class - The book study will pick up on page 127.
  • 11:30 Children's Class with Ms. Capt and Ms. Haag.

Thursday Compline
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:  -

Psalm 23 - The St. Philip's Virtual Choir
The Lord is our shepherd.

We began our journey through this Season of COVID-9 with Psalm 23. Fr. Mike said it was exactly what we needed to hear and we were fortunate that it was one of the assigned readings that day. He encouraged us to make Psalm 23 part of our Lenten practice. For many of you it has become a part of your daily prayers.

We were doubly fortunate last week when Psalm 23 again came up as one of our assigned readings. The words continue to be exactly what we need to hear but this time we heard them prayed and sung by St. Philip’s Virtual Choir. Watch the video here =>>>


The Prayer of our People 

St. Philip's Parish Prayer  

A few years ago we wrote a parish prayer to express who we are and how we want to live as the people of St. Philip's. This prayer is a response to God's calling us as a parish and as individuals. Though the words are offered to God, they are to be embodied, expressed, lived, and seen in each of our lives. That is our hope and prayer. See the faces and hear the voices of the Word becoming flesh. And what beautiful flesh it is. Watch the video.

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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