St. Thomas invites their neighbors at All Saints' to Sunday morning Zoom worship at 10:00 AM as well as to Holy Eucharist at St. Thomas Church on Sundays at 8:00 AM and Wednesdays at 7:00 PM. See below for the Zoom link and bulletin for Sunday and for the links to sign up for in-person worship.
Online Worship for Sunday, November 29, 2020
First Sunday of Advent, Year B
10:00 AM - Bulletin(the blue underlined text opens the bulletin)
If you encounter any issues with the registration, please call or email the office.
A link to the address of St. Thomas Church can be found HERE.
Christmas Update from Scott Wenzel
Dear All Saints’ Family
First of all, I hope this letter finds you in good health, staying safe and keeping the faith as we continue to make sense of this crazy year.
Christmas is just around the corner and we find ourselves wondering whether we will have a service to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. As a member of the All Saints’ Church Vestry, I would like to extend an invitation to attend a service at All Saints’ on Christmas Eve (Thursday) at 5:00.
If you are interested or if you have any questions, please respond back to me in an email. This way we can determine how many would attend and we will be reserving seats for the first responders of this email.
To give you an idea of what the service would be like, each person or household has to be 6’ apart from all other households at all times and all directions as well as masked. Congregational and/or choral singing is highly discouraged, but if there is going to be singing, people need to be both masked and 12’ apart.
We are already looking to have a supply priest and we hope to have music either live or virtual…or both.
Please let me know if you or others might be able to attend, and if so, how many. This way we can plan properly for a service depending of course if we are able to have one.
Jo Ann Seipel has kindly supplied the Church with 48 wreaths to decorate for this year’s fund raiser. Please contact Nicky Kennedy at email@example.com if you would like to reserve a wreath/wreaths. Price remains $25 per wreath with your choice of ribbon and balls or pine cones. Wreaths will be ready for pick up or delivery the week of December 1. Although there is no Angel Fair this year pre-payment is appreciated. Checks to be payable to All Saints’ Church.
Harrison Holiday Project This initiative, which was created to spread holiday cheer to needy families in Harrison, West Harrison and Purchase, has become the ‘feel-good’ project of the year that many look forward to.
To sponsor one or more families, please send a check payable to “The Harrison Holiday Project" to The Harrison Holiday Project, P.O. Box 47, Harrison, NY 10528 or visit https://paypal.me/HolidayProject2020to make an online donation. The average dollar amount that The Harrison Holiday Project gives to each family in need is $150. All monies collected will help us purchase the gift cards as well as support the Harrison Food Pantry.
The Vestry is working hard on safely keeping our traditions this year. Stay tuned! In the meantime, please look at your information in the 2020 parish directory - send any new contact info to the parish office.
New Restrictions on In-Person Worship
Bishop Dietche has recently written a letter regarding new restrictions, then followed up with a modification of the letter. The letter (part 1) and modification (part 2) are shared below.
Part 1: New Restrictions on In-Person Worship
November 24, 2020
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In my address three weeks ago at our Diocesan Convention, I gave notice that we were likely in the near future to see a renewed Suspension of Public Worship. But within days we learned that a highly effective vaccine against the coronavirus has been developed and is not far from availability. Since then two other manufacturers have announced equally effective vaccines. It is clear that within weeks some of the most at-risk people will be able to be vaccinated, and over the months to come that will extend to the whole population. This is profoundly good news!
However, since then the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to surge at an alarming rate across the United States and the world, and here in New York, too, though at a more modest rate. Whatever happens with the vaccines, the story of the next few months will be the surge. Right now, almost 260,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, and there are projections that that number could come close to doubling over the winter. This is not the time to relax the disciplines we have accepted on worship and ministry. As I said from our cathedral, our customary church life will be given back to us, if we can get everyone safely to the other side together. In this letter I will lay out a short-term and a longer term-plan, and some direction on what you can expect next.
AT THIS TIME, I AM CALLING ON ALL CHURCHES
TO LIMIT IN-PERSON WORSHIP TO TEN PEOPLE.
All protocols of hygiene and handwashing, masking and distancing, are to be rigorously observed. Practices of communion, in those places where the Holy Eucharist will continue, must follow the safety guidelines which I put in place in July. Also, the ten people allowed for worship must include the celebrant, assisting ministers, musicians, and camera operators. This restriction of numbers will apply to worship services held inside and outside equally.
I believe that this restriction, put in place now, is in keeping with state and city guidelines, but I also believe it is short-term. If the winter surge of the virus progresses as expected, we are likely to move to a full Suspension of Public Worship, and if that happens that announcement will be made at that time. But I am also aware that the levels of infection are not equal across the diocese. Some areas are being hit harder. Given that, I want local clergy and wardens to be responsive to virus spikes in your communities, and free to make decisions appropriate to your local conditions. If appropriate to your circumstances, I encourage you to suspend public worship now.
THEREFORE, YOU MAY CREATE LOCAL POLICIES AND PRACTICES
WHICH ARE MORE RESTRICTIVE, TO INCLUDE A FULL SUSPENSION,
BUT YOU MAY NOT CREATE POLICIES WHICH ARE LESS RESTRICTIVE.
You will receive shortly a schedule of bishop visitations for 2021 which will have no dates on it. It is a schedule which we will implement when we can. But we will send it now so that churches can anticipate if they will receive a visitation earlier or later. It should be assumed that visitations, which we had hoped would resume at the turn of the year, are more likely to resume later in the winter, or even in the spring.
I feel confident that the responsible and caring ways in which we handled the coronavirus surge last spring will serve us well again now. We must be cautious and vigilant now, and work to bring our people safely through what may be a long, hard winter. But we may hope, with greater confidence now, that the new year will bring vaccine and therapies and recovery, and we may hope that, by the grace of God, 2021 will be a time of regathering and renewal. A time which will cover us over with blessing and grace. With all my prayers for you, and all my love, I remain
The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche
Bishop of New York
---- Part 2: Modifications of the Bishop's COVID Letter and Policy
November 24, 2020
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This morning I sent out a letter advising all churches that with rising COVID levels we would now return to our summer restrictions on public worship which limited gatherings in the church to ten people. Over the remainder of the day I have heard from a fair number of you calling that decision into question, and I want you to know that I have listened. And I have been persuaded. I believe that I was premature. I based my decision on the fact that parts of our diocese are already in the orange COVID level, infection levels are relatively low but are clearly rising, and on the decisions made in some other dioceses in our “neighborhood.” However, at this time, I am now convinced, this was too stringent a limitation to be imposed on most of our churches in much of our diocese.
So I will ask instead that each parish take responsibility for the benchmarks for limiting their own attendance at worship. Monitor the infection levels in your community every day. If you are in a community with an infection level above 4%, or if your area has been designated yellow or orange, you should adopt some practice of limited attendance. But for the time being I will refrain from a diocese-wide policy, and I will hold this morning’s policy announcement in abeyance until we live more fully into the COVID surge. I apologize for contributing to the confusion we are all living with.
In all cases, when funerals have been scheduled and planned before the adoption of attendance limitations, those services should proceed as planned. In addition, all outreach ministries and food distribution ministries should continue throughout the pandemic. In everything we do, the protocols established back in the spring, and which have served us well and kept us safe, are to be carefully observed. With every good wish, I remain