Beginning today, Bishop Duncan-Probe will offer a weekly video message to update you on how the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York is responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The message will be posted on the diocesan Facebook page and on the homepage of the diocesan website (scroll down to News & Updates). We will also distribute the message by direct email to clergy, wardens, and parish offices, and include it in the Messenger, our weekly email newsletter.
Hello, friends! I’m so glad for this opportunity to share with you what we’re doing in the Diocese in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
First of all, each week, starting now, I will be videotaping a message so that you’ll know that you’re up-to-date on what we’re doing and how we’re responding. I have asked the district deans to serve as a response team and to work with me so that I’ll know what is happening in your district. I especially am interested in how we can be more useful in supporting the ongoing ministries of our church.
Our churches are not closed. They’re very much open. But our buildings are closed, and we are gathering virtually because we are still in step one. Step one. We have been calling them “phases”, but that has confused people because it sounds like the state phases, and we will not be following the state’s phases. We will be making decisions that are best for our people. So, we will be calling it “steps”. Steps to gathering anew.
We do not know what the future holds, and we cannot really know what is happening. So, we’re taking it cautiously, one step at a time.
Currently, we’re in step one. And in four to five weeks, the deans and I will have a conversation about whether we need to revisit that, and what is happening at the time. We’ll look at what is best for our parishes and make a determination.
Right now, what we need most to do is to pray for one another and work together. This is not a time to allow partisan politics, or confusion, or even our anxiety and fatigue to drive us apart.
Working together, we will respond as a community of faith. This is a time when the church is at its best. We were born out of crisis, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and we move toward resurrection together.
You and I are God’s people. Let us pray together, let us communicate effectively to one another, and let us hold one another in love and compassion. And let us work together as we seek to serve God and serve one another. May we truly live into our vision statement of a world healed by love. God’s blessings be with you now and always.
Until next week, blessings be upon you.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan-Probe
Bishop of Central New York