Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us. 2 Timothy 1:14
Episcopalians are bound together through a dynamic theology, liturgy, practice and understanding. We are sustained, upheld, and inspired through a common faith in Jesus, ignited by the Holy Spirit. Like every congregation in the Diocese of New Hampshire--Emmanuel, Dublin-- has been guided by direction of the Bishop’s Short Term COVID 19 Response Team during months of a disruptive/devastating pandemic. We have come far by faith, even as we have been tested.
Last summer, Emmanuel suspended some of the practices associated with being “the church”; such as in-person worship for the sake of the health and safety of every member of the community—young and older alike by offering worship, virtually. Patience was tested. As the Apostle Paul proclaims, the endurance we mustered generated character. Character has created in us a generous hope. And our hope has opened ways for the Holy Spirit to inspire and guide us.Through it all, we have learned new ways of being the Church, uncovering resources and talents never before tried. We have found strength in God’s Grace and ways to hold to the faith that binds us together.
Though our country has moved towards recovery, we are not yet though all of it. Since the last E-Pistle Newsletter just a week ago, the Bishop’s Response Team now indicates on a congregation by congregation basis, churches in the Diocese can now begin to return to previous practices of worship, prayer and fellowship.The Response Team indicates that each congregation, guarding the treasure entrusted to us, must discern what is best for every member of their respective church family.
With this hope in our hearts, we recommend the following UPDATED protocols for our time together this summer:
- We are able to gather without concern for physical distancing. Personal preference will be respected if distancing is preferred.
- We may enter and exit through the main door.
- Every person attending worship at Emmanuel shall wear a mask. We are responsible for those who, for whatever reason, have not yet been vaccinated, especially children under the age of 12.
- Those wishing not to wear a mask may join the congregation, but from outside the church with sound amplification provided. We encourage those not wishing to worship inside, to bring their own chairs. Hymnals will be available.
- We shall sing the hymns wearing masks, inside the church.
- Service Leaflets, including the readings, will be available for all who attend either inside or outside.
- The Offering Plate shall be in the back of the church, as ushers will not be passing the plate from row to row.
- We shall recite our “liturgical responses”, i.e. Gloria in Excelsis, Agnus Dei, etc.
- The Sacrament (in one kind—the Bread) will be distributed to those both inside and outside, again as a precaution for the safety of all.
- For the safety of those residing in the rectory, we encourage all children to attend the service as there is no childcare being offered.
- Social Hour replaces Coffee Hour. Following the service, please join us outside to visit with one another.
Should you have questions or concerns, please be in touch with us. We are delighted that we can return for worship in person at Emmanuel this summer. This is an exciting time of renewal, new growth and of strengthening our wonderful community.
God’s peace and blessing be with you all!
Faithfully and Together,
Reverend John Branson
Very Reverend Gideon Pollach
Ellen Avery, Senior Warden
Jack Sands, Junior Warden