Rector's Note: Picnic Church
When I picture the crowds listening to Jesus's teachings, I like to imagine it as a lively affair. Perhaps the people would've been gathered on the hillsides, some spread out and others angling to get closer, increasing in numbers as more and more arrived, and talking amongst themselves as they marvelled at Jesus's words. Perhaps they even brought food and refreshment for a day of being away from home. It might've felt more like an outdoor summer concert or Shakespeare in the Park than it did a traditional church service.
This image makes me excited as I think about our upcoming 9:00am outdoor services. Just as we did on Palm Sunday and Easter, we will invite everyone to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets. This time around, I would add, bring your coffee, your smoothie, your avocado toast, or stop by one of our wonderful neighborhood shops for a breakfast pastry and latte. The first Eucharists were celebrated in a meal, so this "Picnic Church" setup definitely has precedent.
Having an outdoor service will provide an additional low risk option since we now know that Covid-19 is much less likely to spread outside. This is also a great option for families with young children since kids can run around in the fenced area. We will still practice precautions for this service, like physical distancing and mask wearing (although it can be removed to sip and eat if you're well distanced).
We will have our next outdoor service at 9:00am on May 23rd for Pentecost and then continue it for the summer starting in June. You can sign up for the Pentecost outdoor service and our other in-person services in the month of May here.
On another note, I have gotten feedback from some of our parishioners that they have a hard time understanding what I'm saying with my mask on. I'm fully vaccinated now and the podium is at least 20 ft from anyone in the pews. So starting this Sunday I'll take my mask off for the sermon. Also, as new guidelines for our county go into effect this weekend, please know that this will not affect our current Sunday services. Since we started hybrid worship, we have always limited in-person attendance to well under the 25% capacity for Faith Communities.
Finally, the date for our Woodstock Pantry Laughing Planet fundraiser has been decided. Please save the date for May 21st to 23rd. 10% of sales that weekend will go to the Woodstock Pantry fundraiser. And please tell your friends.
If you have any questions or ideas about our summer worship and community life offerings, please let me know. I'm so thankful for every opportunity we have to connect as siblings in Christ.
The Rev. Andria Skornik, [email protected]
Image: Sermon on the Mount by Jorge Cocco