Negotiating Risk with Love
Beloved in Christ,
As I wrote to you over the weekend, it has become clear that these late stages of the pandemic will involve considerable complexity as we receive new guidance from experts, state restrictions ease, vaccination rates increase, and communities consider how to best move forward into the world that is emerging. What is important in one context is not relevant or helpful in another. Because of that complexity, a strictly regulated approach to congregational re-opening is no longer sustainable or faithful. Starting today, the decision on when to re-open for public indoor worship appropriately belongs to the canonical leadership of local faith communities. We are releasing an updated version of our official guidelines, which you can find here.
Please know that these guidelines are recommendations representing the best wisdom from our building use task force and can be adapted to fit local contexts as appropriate. Because of the extraordinary diversity of our diocese, it cannot and does not answer every question of liturgical, sacramental, and pastoral choreography and practice, and we will all need to resource and learn from one another as we develop our various approaches. I am confident that all the wisdom and resourcefulness we need resides with the clergy and people of our diocese, and we will do well to stay as closely connected as possible in the months to come.
Periods of complexity and uncertainty, while challenging, remind us that our world, our lives, and our communities ultimately belong to God, and we are always and only sustained by God's power. As we enter into this fresh chapter of uncertainty, I hope we can use it as an opportunity together to more deeply root ourselves in the living God's power, that our life together might more fully reflect God's inexhaustible love to our hurting world.
Grace and Peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
Episcopal Church in MN