May 29, 2020
Dear Resurrection family,
As we were putting the final touches on this week’s video update, the Governor’s office released the COVID-19 Guidance for Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services. Our leadership team is already reviewing the guidelines and will spend the next few days absorbing all the information. Overall, we are very encouraged by the new opportunities we may have in the coming months. We will be meeting on Monday morning to update our plans for the summer based on these new guidelines, with continued careful consideration for the health and safety of our people. We will have more information for you very soon.
In the meantime, we do have several new and exciting things happening this weekend, so please make sure to watch my short video update below!
Fr. Steve Williamson
Sr. Executive Pastor
Coronavirus Update: 5/23/20
Many of you are likely aware that President Trump declared that “houses of worship” are “essential places” in a statement on Friday, and that he urged all governors to “allow these essential places to open”. Our leadership team is pleased with the opportunity this presents. We also realize that there are still many health concerns around large gatherings which need to be carefully considered.
As I mentioned in the video we released this week, I am currently working with other pastoral leaders in Chicagoland on a letter that will respectfully request that the Governor consider involving leaders of faith in a process of reopening churches. I hope you know how much we desire to gather as a body for worship services in our building. This has been such a hardship for all of us. However, we also need to be assured that we can meet together in a time and manner that addresses legitimate public health concerns. We will be prayerfully weighing all of the factors in developing a timeline and process for starting public worship services again. Please pray for us as we seek the way of the Lord for our next steps.
You can expect further communication on this issue in the next week.
Dear Church of the Resurrection,
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble – Psalm 46:1
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I want to begin by drawing your attention to Bishop Stewart’s new video message to our diocese, which contains important information for our next several weeks together as a church:
Here is what this all means for Church of the Resurrection over the next several weeks:
As Bishop Stewart mentioned in his video, the ACNA College of Bishops has asked congregations to refrain from holding in-person worship services or gatherings until further notice. You can read the Archbishop’s full letter here.
Resurrection will therefore continue to offer our 10am livestream service throughout the months of March and April. We will have more information on the plans for May and beyond in the weeks ahead.
Join us at 10am each Sunday for worship at churchrez.org/livestream.
We are also excited to announce that, as of this Sunday, our livestream service will be a complete Sunday morning service, including music, liturgy, readings, a sermon, and the celebration of Holy Communion!
You can download a Lenten Sunday Liturgy here, and download the music and readings for this Sunday, March 22nd, here. These will also be posted on churchrez.org/livestream and the music and readings document will be updated each week.
Due to current restrictions on gatherings of 10 or more people, and for the sake of witness to our local community, we will not be able to offer the distribution of Holy Communion for at least the next two weeks. This was an incredibly difficult decision, and we will re-institute distribution of Holy Communion as soon as possible.
In the meantime, Canon Stephen Gauthier has prepared a beautiful liturgy for use in your home titled Prayers When Unable to Receive Holy Communion. It’s included in our Lenten Sunday Liturgy, which you can download here.
Our inability to gather will have obvious effects on our upcoming Holy Week services. While this saddens me greatly, I want to assure you all that we will be celebrating Holy Week together! Our team is working now on plans for a Holy Week resource for your family or friendship group, which will accompany our livestream services during Holy Week.
More information will be coming, but I want you to know now we will be hosting livestream services for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil Saturday, and Easter Sunday Morning.
Generosity and Financial Support
I am pleased to announce that our Vestry approved the release of funds to help those at Resurrection and throughout our diocese who are experiencing financial hardship at this time. To make a request for financial assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The downturn in our economy will certainly affect Resurrection. I encourage you to continue giving your tithes and offerings to the church as you are able. If you have already set up electronic giving, you are all set!
Otherwise, here’s how you can give to Resurrection during this time:
- Set up an online recurring “bill pay” through your bank, using “Church of the Resurrection” as the recipient. Use our mailing address: 935 W. Union Avenue, Wheaton, IL 60187
- Mail your check to the church office (same address)
- Set up a recurring gift at churchrez.org/give, or click the “Give” link on our website (note: of the three payment options, ACH is the most cost effective for the church).
For assistance, contact email@example.com or call her cell at 630-724-7264.
We are already aware of many pastoral care needs in our congregation as a result of this crisis. Our leaders want the chance to hear about your unique needs and to pray for you.
Many of you will hear from your RezGroup or ministry leader in the next several days. We will also be releasing a form via email and on our website that you can use to let us know about any needs you have or resources you can offer.
Finally, perhaps the best way we can care for one another is for each of us to reach out to the people in our lives. A phone call can go a long way to bring encouragement and the love of Jesus to someone, and help us stay connected in a time of isolation.
The importance of not being alone is real! And yet, it seems prudent to limit our face to face interactions with others at this time. One idea that we like is to establish a “friendship group”–a small circle of people (10 or fewer) with whom you will gather, eat, worship, and hang out, especially during these 15 days.
For some, this will be your immediate family, perhaps with a few others in addition. For others, it will mean friends, neighbors, and fellow RezGroup members. I encourage you to exercise caution but to stay connected in these next two weeks!
I encourage all of you to continue in Bishop Stewart’s 46 for 46 prayer initiative. Gather your family or friendship group every day and pray through Psalm 46 through the end of April.
Plans are also in the works for a livestream version of Morning and Evening Prayer, led by Resurrection Clergy and spouses. Stay tuned!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Fr. Steve Williamson
Sr. Executive Pastor
Cancellations and Closures (5/21/20):
Currently, all in-person services are suspended.
For the latest on closures, services, watch our summer update video above.
Receive the latest updates as they occur:
As you stock resources, consider your neighbors and how you might share with those around you. Remember and pray for the marginalized, including the elderly who are most at risk from the disease, low-wage earners who cannot afford to be out of work, and nearby minority communities who often rely on public schools for childcare and breakfasts and lunches for their children. Ask the Lord for opportunities to give generously.
We can also pray for the eradication of the coronavirus and for a freedom from fear in the Church and in our communities. To that end, we are calling Resurrection to a 46 for 46 prayer challenge. For the next 46 days (until the end of April), pray Psalm 46 with your household each day. You can also listen together to Bp. Stewart’s sermon on Psalm 46 from this past summer.