Coronavirus: COVID-19 Response

Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Dear Holy Spirit family,

As you know, the Mayor this week issued a shelter-in-place order for Waco, and the Council extended the order to at least April 7. All except “essential” businesses are shut, and we have been asked to stay at home except for essential travel. The coronavirus is spreading rapidly (to stay up to date on confirmed cases, please click here), and because there are not enough tests to go around, the numbers we are seeing are very likely only the tip of the iceberg.

So, I want to encourage us to practice Christian charity by following the Mayor’s guidelines. Remember, we don’t practice social distancing to keep ourselves from getting sick. As Fr. Preston pointed out to me, we practice social distancing on the assumption that we are already infected. Remember: we can spread the virus for up to five days before we start showing symptoms. Sheltering-at-home and maintaining a minimum of six feet between ourselves and others at this time is an act of love.

As we look ahead, we are preparing for the long haul. You can see here what three months of social distancing will do to flatten the curve in Texas. Only three months of sheltering in place prevents our health systems from becoming overwhelmed. These conditions aren’t changing anytime soon.

That means it is increasingly likely that we will not have Holy Week and Easter services this year. We are working steadily to decide how to observe those feasts as a dispersed community.

LOOKING AHEAD
Over the last two weeks, we have been adapting to this new normal, and we have some exciting things to share.

Formation

  • Starting Sunday, there will be live Sunday School at 9:15 AM. Links (and phone numbers) to join will be sent Wednesday and Sunday. Dr. Rachel Toombs is going to lead us through narratives in Scripture. This week: The Valley of the Dry Bones.
  • By Wednesday, April 1, I will put out a video of Session 1 of School of Prayer. Then, those who can will meet to discuss on Sunday nights at 8:00 PM, starting April 5.
  • Then, starting Wednesday, April 1, at 8:00 PM, Fr. Preston will lead a Bible study through Hebrews.
  • Everyone will be able to join with their computer or over the phone. More information to come!

 
Social Opportunities

  • We will be recruiting families to host online supper clubs for eight weeks. Everyone who signs up will log on or call and share a meal together online.
  • Once supper clubs are scheduled, Preston and I are going to host regular 8:00 PM social hours during the week. Anyone is welcome to join.
  • Again, anyone with a computer or a telephone can participate!

 
Phone Calls/ Emails

  • This last week, the staff and members of our parish care team reached out to every household on our rolls. We will continue this practice going forward. We just want to hear how you are, how your family is, if there is anything you need, or if there is any specific ways we can be praying for you.
  • If you would prefer a text or email rather than a phone call, please reply to this email and let me know.

 
HEARING FROM YOU

  • If you’ve been to one of the last two Family Meetings, you know we take all the questions, put them on the board, and then answer as many as we can. It’s a weird time right now, so we’re collecting questions for a virtual family meeting. Whether it ends up on a video or an online Frequently Asked Questions list, we’ll get back to you with answers. Just reply to this email with your questions!
  • Prayer requests? Just ask! Let us know if you would like the name of the person on our weekly prayer list. Either way, we’ll pray for people every day of the week.

 ARE YOU GETTING OUR EMAILS on Sunday and Wednesday? If not, take these steps.

  • Sign up here to get Sunday and Wednesday emails from us.
  • Check your junk or spam folder to make sure our emails haven’t ended up there. A LOT of people are sending email right now, and it’s easy for group emails to get lost in the mix.

In this weird, crazy time, we are here to help you become and share the good news of Jesus Christ. We want to hear from you, so please do reach out. If there is anything the church can do to help you, please let us know.

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Jason Ingalls
Rector