Dear St. Francis family and friends,
If you have looked at Facebook during the past week, you are up to speed with what is happening in our country and locally in our diocese in regard to the Coronavirus. Per Bishop Waldo’s request on Monday, March 16th to all of the clergy of our diocese, all congregational activities are suspended until further notice. As of this morning’s clergy meeting with Bishop Waldo, this means at least until April 30th. This suspension includes not only services of worship, but also all meetings and social functions held at the church or sponsored or hosted by the church. As has been said by many of my brother and sister clergy online, the act of suspending in-person worship is one not taken lightly but is thought to be the best way to care for our fragile human bodies, that they might continue to live and serve our Lord as vessels of our eternal souls. As most of you know, my own body has serious medical compromises in facing the possibility of infection – 48 years of Type 1 (insulin treated) diabetes, heart issues, and age. The threat of this virus is very serious and it is projected to take a far worse toll on our population than has yet been experienced. Together, we as a parish will weather this current challenge and we will live to serve our Lord another day. But please, let us all recognize the severity of these times. I ask your help in caring for one another. Today we are exploring ways to get St. Francis online to offer some form or forms of worship during the coming weeks. I will email again on Saturday to let you know how you might access our online offerings. In the meantime, take care of yourself and please reach out to me or any of your brothers and sisters in Christ if you need help in any way. While separated physically, we remain the Body of Christ and members of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church. No virus robs us of that!!!
Peace and blessings to all,
The Rev. Slaven Manning
Rector, St. Francis of Assisi in Chapin, SC