Tuesday, July 21 2020
...As your Vestry continues to carry out its duties via Zoom, here are some of the major points of discussion that occurred during the July 16, 2020 Vestry meeting:
COVID-19 has forced all of us to change things in some manner. Anticipated activities have been postponed or cancelled or held virtually. Our vocabulary has expanded or evolved to fit the pandemic. The word "zoom" doesn't just refer to something or someone speeding past us anymore. Many changes or adaptations have been required to adjust to this health crisis. One obvious adjustment we've made has been our need to offer worship services differently.
Every Sunday morning Lin and I sit in our living room with the laptop on the coffee table waiting for the 10:30 service to begin. We log onto the website a few minutes early and watch the countdown on the screen clicking off the minutes until the service starts. With a keystroke somewhere, the service is underway. We enjoy seeing Jim work his magic at the organ and hearing our talented choir members share hymns with us. Familiar faces read scripture and offer prayers. Fr. R.C., our Curate, Rev. Michael, or our Deacon, Rev. Terri, inspire, comfort and motivate us to do better with well chosen words.
These virtual services just don't happen, of course. They have required a change in the way in which we get things done. Right now each segment is filmed beforehand, submitted, then edited and pieced together to provide us the fluid worship experience we enjoy every Sunday. Yes, there are glitches with the internet, and we see unwanted pauses in the streaming, but we're working on improving that.
And sometimes events of importance that demand acknowledging or immediate attention take place just prior to putting it all together, and things have to be revised at the last minute. Words in a sermon may have to be added or changed. Additional prayers may need to be included. The unexpected happens.
At present, Fr. R.C. is the person who has been putting this all together. Truly an accomplishment! I suppose we should add Producer, Director, Photographer, Editor, etc. to his title. He's devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy in making sure St. John's | San Juan has the best worship experience possible at this extraordinarily difficult time. Thank you, Fr. R.C., for all you have done to keep our worship experiences going during this unprecedented time! Those actions really underscore your dedication and commitment to St. John's | San Juan. I also know how exhausting this has been, even though you are not likely to openly admit it.
As you are aware, Fr. was to take some Sabbatical time during the summer. Then COVID-19 reared its ugly and deadly head. His Spanish immersion class in Mexico for two months was cancelled, but hopefully, he'll be able to complete that at a later date. Other highly anticipated plans to spend time with family, meet and travel with colleagues and friends from around the United States have collapsed due to the pandemic. A trip to London to better connect with our Anglican roots and a journey across the channel to visit cathedrals in France and spend some rejuvenative and reflective time with monks in a monastery in Taize, France are jeopardized, if not lost.
With all that has happened because of this health crisis and in recognition of all the leadership, vision and energy Fr. R.C. has unselfishly given to St. John's | San Juan at this time, the Vestry agreed, without hesitation, that after Fr. R.C. uses his accumulated vacation time in August, he could use the month of September as a month of Sabbatical time. Fr. will begin his vacation on August 1 and will complete his Sabbatical on September 30. He will return to us October 1. We wish him continued health, safety and peace as he takes some much deserved time away! And, as always, we extend our sincere "Thanks!" for all he has done.
While Fr. R.C. is away, the Rev. Brian Gregory will be presiding over services, as Rev. Michael's ordination to the priesthood has been unavoidably delayed. I know you will join me in spirit as we welcome Fr. Brian to St. John's | San Juan.
Until next month, stay safe and well,