Home > Uncategorized > A message from Fr. Burch

Friends in Christ,

I realized yesterday, belatedly, that this week marks my sixth anniversary as your rector. And it occurs to me that two of those six years have been during a pandemic. I’m pretty sick of that word and all it connotes, and I imagine you are as well. That said, I’m not sure this current surge of the Omicron variant cares a whole lot about how we feel but rather how we act.

To that end, for the next two weeks, we will:

  • Forego coffee hour on Sunday mornings
  • Remove congregational singing and some responses from the service, keeping services to about 35-40 minutes
  • Highly recommend our 9 am Zoom church service on Sunday mornings which has continued all year and will continue for the foreseeable future (as ever, see calendar for link)
  • Invite you to think about the kinds of masks you are wearing to church and consider upgrading to an N95 or KN95 model for the safety of yourself and others as well as for the well-being of healthcare workers
  • Keep Sunday School and nursery in person, masked, and shortened
  • Adjust our planned January 30 Annual Meeting. At the moment, we are considering a short meeting over Zoom to elect officers and present a budget, with a longer meeting/potluck to occur possibly in late February. Stay tuned for details.
  • Review these protocols in two weeks to see whether additional steps are necessary

I do not carry around a lot of worry about the physical health of members of our parish. There are so many more powerful tools available to us than there were a year ago, and I do believe we are on our way out of this COVID life. But I do worry about our hospitals, and I want us to be good neighbors. The above measures are our second strictest protocols. Naturally, moving services completely online is an option we will continue to review.

I don’t have the same way with words as St. Paul, but I imagine if he were to write to a congregation struggling with pandemic fatigue, he might remind us all to keep our minds fixed on Jesus, show kindness to one another, and care for the poor. In other words, our call as Christians remains unchanged, even while circumstances change rapidly around us. I thank God for you and for your faithfulness to Jesus and to St. Mark’s these last two years. I want to also thank your vestry and Wardens, the clergy and staff, and all the senior leaders who kept this place running beautifully, even in these strange times.