July 20, 2020
Dear Parish Family,
We have a plan to begin the process of reopening our church for in-person worship and our office and facilities for access. This plan was developed by the talented and dedicated team on the St. Luke’s Reopen Committee. They developed a plan specific to the unique factors in our local parish, but still complying with the guidelines given by our diocese and the State of New Jersey. Our bishop, Chip Stokes, himself gave final approval for this plan.
It must be emphasized that though the requirements we had to follow were mandatory, the committee, the vestry, and myself have also recognized that being smart and careful in how we reopen is a practical outworking of our faith. Jesus commanded us — the words are imprinted in marble on the altar in Anne’s Chapel: Love One Another. And this plan that maximizes safety for all who choose to be present at St. Luke’s is a way to practically keep that command. As the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, has said so we agree, “This is how we love one another.”
Attached is the complete plan that was submitted to the diocese and approved. This is the plan we are following as we reopen. We are making it available now to you in this email and posting it on our website. If you have questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to me, or to Annette, any member of the committee or the vestry.
These are challenging times, but God is with us – His Presence will sustain us through the storm and continue to bring us His peace. It is with joy and thankfulness that we move forward in bringing God’s people at St. Luke’s back together to Honor, Celebrate and Serve the Lord.
The Lord Be With You,