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The Very Rev. Paul Donison
Rector & Dean of Christ Church
I am overjoyed to worship with you this Sunday, June 7, at one of our three sanctuary services. For those who are able, I do encourage you to consider attending our new 5 p.m. service, as a way to make ample space for others at 9 and 11 a.m.
It will be such a joy to gather again for worship. But, as I mention in the video, I am encouraging you to prepare your hearts for how different it will feel with these safety measures in place. We all hear the online rhetoric and differing opinions regarding the use of masks, social distancing, and the similar safety measures.
But remember, O flock of Christ, that we do these things not only for our own sake, but for the sake of others. These safety measures will help your neighbors in the pews feel safe as they come to worship. So, love your neighbor in following these guidelines.
If you are feeling symptomatic, please stay home for the safety of yourself and others.
Last week I shared with you the good news that, after much prayer and preparation, Christ Church Plano is reopening for worship on Trinity Sunday, June 7, with services at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. & 5 p.m. in the Sanctuary. All three services will be identical.
Here are some key things you need to know about the reopening:
More detailed instructions will be coming early next week. We ask you to continue in much prayer for our church and our community as we prepare for reopening.
After much prayer and preparation Christ Church Plano is reopening our sanctuary for worship on June 7, Trinity Sunday, with significant safety modifications.
Please note our new worship times. In order to sanitize the space between services, and in consideration of room size and airflow, we will be reopening with three identical Communion services in our Sanctuary on Sundays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 5 p.m.
I know you will have many questions about what these worship services will look like. We will be sending detailed instructions early next week about our plans and the many modifications required to make this a safe worship environment. So, make sure you are subscribed to our weekly parish newsletter, The Call, at www.christchurchplano.org/subscribe
I am confident in our planning because our staff and vestry are weighing the best data we are hearing from the experts, watching how the situation develops day by day, and asking for wisdom from the Lord as we lay all of this before him (James 1:5). We are reopening with a commitment to who we have always been as Christ Church Plano: a church committed to safety, excellence, and gospel faithfulness in all we do.
As your Rector I am thrilled that the day has finally arrived where I can again invite you to the Lord’s Table with these words: “Come, beloved, all is ready.”
Three weeks ago I told you that a day for reopening was not yet in sight, but now reopening our sanctuary does look to be on the horizon. As my team and I work through the myriad of details that such a reopening requires, I am confident that I will be able to announce a reopening date very soon.
Throughout this shut down, our staff has been continually researching and planning in preparation for reopening. You can imagine the hundreds of decisions that have to be made in order for a liturgical and sacramental service to reopen with a commitment to safety, excellence, and gospel faithfulness. I could not ask for a better team to do this with.
Here’s what I am asking of you: to be especially prayerful and charitable.
I ask you to be prayerful, for me, our staff, and our vestry, as we seek wisdom from the Lord in this enormous decision. We have lots of opinions coming our way about what reopening should look like. But what we truly need coming our way right now are your prayers.
I ask you to be charitable towards one another. The political divide over Covid19 is getting as ugly as the virus itself, and this kind of division must not infect the Body of Christ. Remember that the people in our parish who hold different political views than our own are still the sheep of Christ for whom he shed his blood.
And let me assure you that our decisions around the speed of reopening are not aligned with any specific political commitment, but rather to a Eucharistic commitment that the Table be opened in a way that is as safe as possible for the most vulnerable among us (1 Corinthians 11:17-34).
I must share personally that, despite all these challenges, it is an exciting time to be your Rector. I am so thankful for your faithfulness in this season and for your words of support and encouragement, for me and my team, that come in daily.