Letter from the Rector regarding COVID-19
As August begins, the number of people with COVID-19 in area hospitals is decreasing, yet that number is more than double what it was in June. In Texas, the positive test rate, for COVID-19, is over 13%.
The World Health Organization considers a pandemic under control when it is under 5% for two weeks. 7,016 Texans have died from COVID-19.
When the re-opening team met last Saturday, we considered these grim statistics. We concluded: to protect the safety of our parishioners, it is unsafe to return to public services in August. Christ Episcopal Church is not alone in postponing reopening. Most of the Episcopal churches in Travis and Williamson counties are not returning to public services this month. Like CEC, these churches will evaluate conditions in late August or early September and determine whether to reopen. One Austin church will make a decision after Advent I.
The principal focus of the Church is the Eucharist. Yet, even though we can not receive the sacrament, we are still beloved children of God, redeemed in Christ, by grace saved through faith. Amen. God’s beloved children at Christ Episcopal Church continue doing the work of the Church. The virus has not stopped us! In the coming weeks, you will hear from members of the many ministries at CEC. Their stories are testaments to how the Spirit is active in the lives of the people of CEC.
While we wait to return to church, remember your home is a mini church. You can practice church at home. Read and study the Word of God. Pray, often. Offer praise and worship to God; throughout the week and during the live streaming service. Give offerings to the church and alms to those in need. “And pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”
(James 5:16 NRSV)