St. Mary’s Responds to the Coronavirus Outbreak
St. Mary’s Vestry and Clergy are working to balance caution with commitment—how do we best protect our most vulnerable parishioners, while continuing to be a welcoming and loving body of people who proclaim the Good News of Jesus through our care for the sick, poor and oppressed. Please note that as the situation is very fluid, and we are continuing to monitor information closely, following the recommended guidelines of the Diocese, CDC and health department, and adjusting as needed. We are committed to open and transparent communication with the parish, and we will continue to keep you updated. Please do check this page, as it will be updated as new decisions are made.
- On May 13, Arlington County released the following COVID information and resources available for our congregation, including information on food, housing assistance, and fact sheets (e.g., “How to Slow the Spread,” and “Resources for Renters”).
- On May 13, Bishop Goff issued a letter with the following: “As we continue our fast from in-person worship, we ease one restriction that has been in place in this diocese since April 19. Beginning on May 24, congregations may live-stream or record worship from inside their worship spaces, following specific guidelines that are outlined in Attachment 1 of this letter. We ask congregations desiring to exercise this option to write a letter to me outlining their plan for the reasons included in the attachment.”
- On May 4: The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia issued A Phased Approach to Regathering as a Church.
- Continuing through June: Several Arlington County Public Schools are serving as food pantries for their students and families in need. Find out how to support and donate food and other items.
- Culpeper Gardens Affordable Senior Living is in need of face masks and other materials. Click here to learn more and how to contact them.
- On April 15, Bishop Goff expanded her directive to not hosting public services to not filming live-streaming or recording services in our worship spaces. However, churches are encouraged to lead/film worship from our homes.
- On March 18, Bishop Goff instructed parishes to slow the spread of COVID-19 by not gathering publicly for weekday, Sunday, or Holy Days of worship– including Palm Sunday and Easter.
- St. Mary’s will email parishioners a 9:00 a.m. worship video this Sunday. We also recommend The Washington National Cathedral’s LiveStream at 11:15 a.m. on Sundays, no special app or login required for either at-home worship offering.
- St. Mary’s Church is closed and all access codes are suspended. All in-person meetings and events at St. Mary’s are canceled until further notice, including Sunday School and adult forum, choir rehearsal, youth group, youth confirmation retreat, lay-led committee meetings, yoga, and bible studies and book clubs. Where possible, ministry leaders will schedule Zoom videoconference calls.
- While we can limit some things, much of the financial business of the church still goes on. We’d like to remind you to keep your pledges current if you are able. You may make payments through Tithe.ly or simply mail checks to St. Mary’s, 2609 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22207. We are checking mail; email stewardship questions to Janet.Tasker@StMarysArlington.org.
- If you are feeling isolated or anxious, please do not hesitate to reach out to St. Mary’s Father Andrew or Father Chris. We are here to pray with and listen to anyone in need. Your Pastoral Care Shepherds stand ready to assist with food, and prescription/grocery deliveries, or just to talk. If you have questions, please contact Elizabeth Bruington at email@example.com or 703-527-6800.
- Outreach partner Arlington Food Assistance Center asks for your donations to help meet increased demand.
- Together We Bake, another outreach partner, a local non-profit employing rehabilitated women remains in operation at this time, making delicious cookies in compliance with all food-safety regulations and delivering them.
- Outreach partner Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement recently organized a petition with Change.org to stop evictions in Arlington and Falls Church, thanks to all our parishioners who have signed so far. VOICE remains engaged with local leaders.
Your Wellbeing is Our Priority
Bishop Michael Curry’s Prayer
God of the present moment, God who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the frantic heart; bring hope and courage to all who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided, for your will is health and wholeness; you are God, and we need you.
This we pray in Christ our Lord. Amen.
1. What St. Mary’s is Doing
St. Mary’s is ceasing all in person Holy Eucharist worship services on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Please check our weekly E-Updates for alturnative ways to pray and worship.
We are sanitizing surfaces–doors, handles, pews, rails, bathrooms, tables as well as altar vessels, vestments and linens. This effort is in addition to our regular daily cleaning practices.
2 What You Can Do
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or using the bathroom, touching your nose and before you eat.
Practice self-care; get your rest, limit your screentime, and please stay at home when you are sick except to get medical care.
3 How Our Parish & Community Will Endure
Pray for our neighbors, all those infected and affected by the virus and pray that Jesus Christ will bring strength, comfort and healing to all.
Check this page and our calendar for updates–this is a fluid situation and we are responding and making adjustments as needed.
Use common sense and rely on trusted sources for information. We will get through this situation!