Saturday, March 7th

1.  If you are ill or feel like you may be becoming ill, please seek appropriate care and attend worship with us when you are no longer contagious. You may watch us on you tube.  A direct link for the Sunday service is available on our Friday email and on our website under the you tube live streaming tab on the bottom right of our home page.   

 

2. Consider refraining from shaking hands or hugging when Passing the Peace. Your  clergy will not be moving through the congregation during the Peace and we will not be shaking hands at the door.

 

3. At the Eucharist, the clergy and all  Eucharistic ministers will (as always)    sanitize our hands prior to the Eucharistic Prayer. The safest way to receive the chalice is by sipping. You may choose to forego the chalice during this time and receive just the bread.

 

4. Feel free to use the sanitizing stations around the worship space.

 

5. Stay safe.   Peace, Fr. Ray

Wednesday, March 11th

After much discussion regarding spreading various diseases, we have decided that the clergy and pastoral care ministers will suspend routine in-person visits and will be using phone calls, texts, emails and cards to connect with people in the hospital, care facilities and homes.

 

If there is an urgent or emergent situation (dying, or life threat), the clergy will respond in an appropriate manner. As your clergy, our concern is that we not spread diseases to physically vulnerable people.

 

Thank you for your understanding. Fr. Ray

Thursday, March 12th

Iona-Hope and COVID-19

 

Dear friends,

 

We are in the beginning stages of dealing with COVID-19. Whereas we do not know exactly how things will go, we know that this brings great challenges. These include being a very serious threat to older adults and the strong potential to overwhelm our healthcare system. Together, these could be catastrophic.

 

This being the case, I am taking actions that are unprecedented for me. I want to tell you about these.

 

By now, you are probably aware that we are suspending face-to-face pastoral care except for extreme situations. We will stay in touch via phone, text, email, cards, etc. I have decided to take the following additional actions.

 

The office is closed tomorrow (Friday). I will look at this next week and evaluate whether/when we will open. In the meantime, we will be monitoring the phones and email from various locations.

 

The clergy will not shake hands/hug at the Peace or at the door. We strongly encourage you to refrain from hugging and shaking hands. We recognize that this is your choice.

 

Beginning immediately, I am suspending offering the chalice at Holy Eucharist. We will consecrate a small amount of wine but will leave it on the altar. Historically, theologically and spiritually, it is just as valid to receive in one kind (just bread or wine) as two.

 

I am suspending the dinner after the 5 pm Saturday service and the coffee hours after 8 and 930 on Sunday.

 

We will not pass the alms basin (collection plate) at any service. We will place them on the high top tables at the entrances. You may drop your pledges/contributions there.

 

We will have all three services this weekend. We will see how things go and evaluate future services at the beginning of the week.

 

I am asking that the Friday Faithful, Prayer Shawl Ministry, Monday Evening Class (Theology and Movies) and the Wonderful Wednesday (Parables) suspend their meetings for this and next week (through March 20).

 

We will look at schedules each week.

 

 If you are sick or feeling like you are becoming sick, please contact your medical professionals and join us when you are well. If you are in a vulnerable population and at increased risk of this (or any virus), please join us online for our 930 service at click this link

 

Please reach out to anyone who is not on email or Facebook and pass this information to them.

 

Time doesn’t make all things well, but our place at the beginning of this pandemic calls us into action in new ways. These are not easy decisions but necessary for the health of our parish and community.

 

Please pray for the sick and injured that God’s healing presence will be with them. Please be in touch with me, Mother Suzy, Joe Mulino, Julie Vergin and Marnie Ike as needed. We are all available through the office number at 239.454.4778. All emails will be monitored during regular business hours office@ionahope.org

 

Thank you!

 

Peace, Ray+

Friday March 13th

Iona-Hope and COVID-19

 

As we feel our way through the unknown direction of this virus, we seek ways to maintain our connectedness while protecting the vulnerable. I find that I am being reminded how important this is in daily life, not just during life with COVID. This said, I am writing to update you. There are two things that I have decided.

 

First, I am canceling public worship for this weekend and next Wednesday. There will not be a public service on Saturday at 5, Sunday at 8 or 9:30 and Wednesday at 9:30. Mtr Suzy and I will be livestreaming a service on Sunday at 9:30. You may join us by going to our website at www.ionahope.org and click on the video link on our home page or

 

on YouTube at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwF4S2OzCR8&feature=youtu.be.

 

There will be a small group in attendance to assist with the service/livestream. Please join us online at 9:30 on Sunday.

 

Second, the thrift store is closed through Tuesday. Eileen and I will talk and let you know its future status on Tuesday.

 

As we look ahead, there are many unknowns. Many snowbirds are heading home early, public activities are being curtailed and large gatherings are discouraged. It is my prayer that we will look back on this and say “Father Ray overreacted”.

 

Although this affects us in many ways, the timing of this virus brings huge economic effects. Please remember the small businesses who may suffer and the individuals and families in our community who will lose income in addition to possible health issues. If you are in financial need, Iona-Hope may be able to assist and/or know where you may find assistance. Please be in touch with Mtr Suzy (suzypost@ionahope.org) or me (rbuchanan@ionahope.org). We will treat this confidentially.

 

Please be safe and stay healthy!

 

Peace,

 

Ray+