In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and at the direction of our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Megan M. Traquair in a communication to the diocese in May 2020, a team of Christ Episcopal Church members was assembled by the rector, the Rev. Dr. Daniel D. London, on June 9, which included clergy, vestry members, lay leaders and musicians. The experience brought to the team includes individuals that have worked in large state agencies, higher-education, California public schools, a certified medical professional (RT) along with small business owners and career clergy. These individuals bring a wealth of knowledge to the team from the public and private sectors.
On March 12, 2020, the Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California (EDNC) issued a pastoral opinion directing all congregations to cease gathering for regular worship beginning Sunday, March 15, 2020, and to offer worship using online tools. On March 19, 2020, Governor Gavin Newson issued a state-wide executive order for all Californians to shelter-in place. This was followed on March 20, 2020, with the County of Humboldt issuing a shelter-in-place order effective through April 9, 2020.
Since that time the pandemic has grown in ways few imagined, and restrictions on in-person gatherings have been extended several times. The clergy and lay leaders have responded to these restrictions immediately by cancelling in-person services and, in three days, developed and conducted our first live-stream worship service on March 15 – The Third Sunday in Lent. The Old Testament reading appointed was Exodus 17:1-7, where after their release from the Egyptian regime, the Israelites spent time wandering in the wilderness, a barren and unforgiving land. It is here that the Israelites started to form an identity as a people, but they faced a daunting challenge. Daunting challenge – what a reading to start our time of shelter-in-place over these past months.
Thus, it is time to start on the gradual, responsible and safety-conscious road to regathering on our church campus. This will be done with government, CDC and other health professionals’ guidelines in mind. Currently we are at the beginning – only meeting online. Stages outlined below are based on changing health trends and recommendations.
The current draft of our Four Stage Plan is available here as a PDF for viewing. This plan is very fluid as recommendations and guidelines have changed in the past two-weeks.
Here is the link to the current PDF of our Regathering – Four-Stage Plan as of July 28, 2020.