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March 13, 2020  •  3:30 PM

Dear St. John's Family,

The novel coronavirus that is spreading throughout the world has created circumstances here in our community that have led our state officials as well as our religious leaders to act to limit the virus's ability to spread. I write to you today with new details about how we as a community will be responding both the virus and to those changing circumstances.

Last night, in response to the severity of the situation in our diocese, Bishop Rickel requested that all parishes in the Diocese of Olympia close, effective immediately, canceling both worship and all programs. St. John's • San Juan will be closed, effective immediately, until further notice (at least through Sunday, March 22). All programs and meetings, including outside groups (such as 12-Step groups) are also cancelled. The staff will continue to work remotely, and will be available by email or by calling the church office. We are eager to hear how you are doing, and want to keep in touch during this peculiar season!

The only exception to this is the funeral for The Rev. Dr. Jean Dalby Clift, which was already scheduled for tomorrow, March 14 at 3 PM. That funeral will take place as planned, though the reception following it has been cancelled (there will be coffee and tea available following the service). 

Since we won't be gathering to celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday together in person, we will instead offer a service of Morning Prayer at 10:30 AM live-streamed on our Facebook page. We will publish a bulletin for the service on our website tomorrow (Saturday), so you can watch online and worship with us. We are looking at more robust solutions for streaming for future weeks; this is the best solution for us this Sunday.

We are looking into ways to convert our other program offerings into online meetings, and will have more to share about that in the coming days. You should expect to hear from us a little more often in the coming days and weeks; we will be emailing several times a week, with updates on what is happening. 

We’re here for you, friends, even if we can’t be together physically. If you are or become ill or homebound, please write or call me, and I will keep the Pastoral Care team informed. And, as always, be praying - especially for those who find themselves cut off, isolated, and alone; for those most at risk to infection, and for all those (including your staff and vestry!) who are seeking appropriate, loving, and prudent ways of responding to this pandemic.

Our parish family is strong, and I have every confidence in our ability to care for each other in the midst of this crisis. We've got this! I am deeply grateful for each of you, for the beautiful way you care for each other, and for the life we have as a community, even in anxious times like these.

Assist us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and prayers, and dispose the way of your servants towards the attainment of everlasting salvation; that, among all the changes and chances of this mortal life, they may ever be defended by your gracious and ready help; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



The Rev. Robert C. Laird, Rector