This past Sunday afternoon, the vestry met on behalf of our congregation to consider our response to COVID-19 and the resulting crisis facing our parish, our nation, and our world. We made one of the hardest decisions the parish will ever have to make: the Church of the Transfiguration has cancelled all public worship services. Subsequently in a letter dated March 16th, Bishop Dietsche suspended all public worship in the Diocese of New York for the “coming eight weeks (May 17th), but with a review of the policy immediately after Easter.” Click here to read his letter to the clergy.
We offer this information prayerfully and with deliberation, balancing our pastoral desire to provide a spiritual refuge with the public health need to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Shutting the doors to the church is perhaps the ultimate in "social distancing," but our faith community remains strong and determined to support one another during this very challenging time.
As such, the vestry and clergy, united by consensus, support the Bishop’s call for this course of action. We lovingly offer this information to the Little Church community:
- Daily worship services are suspended until further notice.
- All music and education programs are suspended until further notice, but some will be done virtually through Zoom or Facebook.
- A closed mass at the altar will be held at 11:00 a.m. Sundays, and will be live-streamed via the internet (no congregation present). We believe that there is power in the church’s Eucharistic offering that changes the world. We ring the bells every Sunday to symbolize this "sending out" of the Eucharist to the world, and we will continue to do so. The church's longstanding tradition teaches that when one is prevented from receiving communion for good cause, the mere desire to be present and partake is honored by God, who unites us to the Eucharistic miracle through other means.
- The garden remains open to the public.
- Per the Bishop’s direction, the office will be closed until further notice. Employees will work from home and be available through email.
- The clergy are available via telephone for pastoral care, as needed. Please call the parish office if you'd like to speak to the clergy.
The best way to stay on top of what is happening is to sign up for our e-newsletter and/or follow us on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We will keep close in touch on what is happening and also provide suggested spiritual practices one can do while self-quarantined. Virtual Lenten and Holy Week devotions are being planned and will be released on Facebook and Instagram.
While we do not know how long these measures will last, we remain steadfast in our belief that God's hand will guide us to wise and just decisions, and that the Little Church Around the Corner will remain the heart and soul of our spiritual lives as we walk together on our earthly journey.
The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. ~Numbers 6:24-26