CORONAVIRUS CANCELLATIONS, RESOURCES, UPDATES
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LATEST UPDATES FROM DIOCESE OF SAN ANGELO
Bishop Michael Sis of the Diocese of San Angelo released the following statement March 27 announcing further restrictions within the diocese in order to promote public health and to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Following are excerpts from the announcement. The entire announcement can be read at www.sanangelodiocese.org
“As we face the increasing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation changes every day, and all of us must continually discern the most prudent actions as this worldwide health crisis reaches our own towns, friends, and families.
The parishes and people of the Diocese of San Angelo have shown tremendous zeal and creativity in providing opportunities for people to participate as fully as possible in the prayer life of the Church within the parameters of public health authorities.
However, in the light of the most recent developments of the Coronavirus in Texas, it is now necessary for us to make further restrictions in our practices, in order to promote public health and to limit the spread of this disease.
Parking Lot Masses:
Effective immediately, and until further notice, it is my sad duty to announce that we must discontinue the “parking lot Masses,” “outdoor car Masses,” and Masses in outdoor facilities. All Catholic Masses in the Diocese of San Angelo are to be celebrated without an assembly, whether indoors or outdoors, including people gathered in cars. The practice of distributing Holy Communion outside the church after Masses without an assembly is also to be discontinued.
Suspension of Public Masses:
Moving forward, Sunday Masses, daily Masses, Palm Sunday Masses, the liturgies of the Paschal Triduum, and Easter Sunday Masses will be celebrated without an assembly. The number of ministers assisting to carry out these Masses must be ten or fewer in the same room at the same time. This practice will continue until further notice.
Catholics in the Diocese of San Angelo are still dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays, until further notice.
Alternatives for Spiritual Nourishment:
Rather than attending Mass, Catholics are encouraged during this time period to pray at home, meditate on the Scripture readings of the day, and enjoy the many opportunities for the broadcast of the Mass through television, radio, or online. A list of stations and sites, as well as a variety of spiritual resources, can be found on the website of the diocese at www.sanangelodiocese.org.
Whenever possible, churches will be kept open during the daytime for private prayer and Eucharistic Adoration, with careful observance of church and civil guidelines for sanitizing and social distancing.
ONLINE FREE COURSES FOR LENT
Catholic Distance University has made two of their courses available at no cost this Lent.
In an email promoting the offer, University President Marianne Evans Mount, Ph.D., said:
“During this stressful Lent, when many are confined at home, unable to attend church, and life feels very different, CDU is offering a free non-credit continuing education course to anyone who wishes to enroll. We invite you to take one of the two online courses below at no cost through April 12th.
“Click the course title to enroll, and be sure to enter promo code CDUGIFT20 to receive this special offer.
“We are sure you will enjoy this opportunity to learn more about the Faith from the convenience of home. Be assured that we are praying for you.”
EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF NORTHWEST TEXAS RESOURCES
For as long as necessary, in addition to live-streaming multiple Sunday worship services, the diocese now offers Morning Prayer at 9:00 am, Noon Day Prayer at 12:00 pm and Compline at 8:00 pm Monday through Friday. You do not need a Facebook account to participate in the services.
Below is a listing of worship opportunities offered online from Northwest Texas:
- Online Daily Office led by clergy from the Diocese of Northwest Texas
- Morning Prayer at 9:00am
- Noonday Prayer at 12:00pm
- Compline at 8:00pm
- Click here to access the services
- Online Morning Prayer (Monday through Friday)
- 8:00am at All Saints Episcopal School in Lubbock, Texas (click here to access)
- Online Morning Prayer (Monday through Friday)
- 8:30am at Church of the Heavenly Rest, Abilene, Texas (click here to access)
- Online Sunday Eucharists and Morning Prayer
- 9:30 am Sunday Eucharist at St. Nicholas’ Episcopal Church in Midland, Texas (click here to access)
- 10:30am Sunday Eucharist at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Midland, Texas (click here to access)
- 10:30am Sunday Eucharist at Church of the Heavenly Rest in Abilene, Texas (click here to access)
- 10:30am Sunday Eucharist at St. Paul’s-on-the-Plains in Lubbock, Texas (prelude begins at 10:20) (click here to access)
- 10:30am Sunday Eucharist at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Lubbock, Texas (click here to access)
- 10:30am Sunday Morning Prayer at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in San Angelo, Texas (click here to access)
- 10:30am Sunday Eucharist at St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Pampa, Texas (click here to access)
- 10:30am Sunday Eucharist at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Big Spring, Texas (click here to access)
- SAN ANGELO DIOCESE ADDS RESOURCE PAGE TO WEBS
Bishop Michael Sis of the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo announced a special COVID-19 page on the diocesan website. Go to the following link for precautions, cancellations, and resources
CSART LECTURE POSTPONED
This message from ACU’s Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts (CSART):
“Due to measures being taken on the campus of Abilene Christian University to minimize the spread of COVID-19, our CSART Lecture scheduled for March 24 has been postponed, date to be determined. For more information, check these sites:
MASTON LECTURES CANCELLED AT HSU
The 20th annual T.B. Maston Lectures in Christian Ethics at Hardin-Simmons University have been cancelled.
The lectures had been scheduled for March 30-31, with the theme, “Art & Beauty in a World of Affliction.”
Dr. Bob Ellis, dean of the Logsdon School of Theology, said a postcare will be mailed to all who received an invitation in the mail. And, the notice is on the university website, http://www.hsutx.edu
Dr. Natalie Carnes, associate professor of theology in the Religion Department at Baylor University and an affiliated faculty member of Women’s and Gender Studies, was scheduled to speak.
FROM THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF SAN ANGELO
Saturday, March 21
These Masses are not live streamed, and can be viewed at any time. Though Bishop Sis has suspended the obligation to attend Sunday Mass at this time, we know that people still yearn for this special experience. The Mass for Sunday, March 22, 2020, is available for people to view from the comfort of their homes now at https://sanangelodiocese.org/covid-19-resources.
We will update our website late next week with Masses for Sunday, March 29. Previous Masses will still be available at the Diocese of San Angelo’s YouTube channel. We will also have excerpts of Bishop Sis’ homilies and short video messages from the bishop available in the future.
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES TO HELP US GET THROUGH TRYING TIMES
Jen Rogers, volunteer coordinator for the International Rescue Committee, has created a Facebook page with a different spiritual discipline or practice each day specifically designed for the pandemic. The link is pasted below.
ST. LUKE ORTHODOX SUSPENDS SERVICES
Public worship services are suspended at St. Luke Orthodox Church, 501 Sunset Drive. Information on livestreamed Orthodox services and resources for prayers at home are available at: https://www.antiochian.org/dashboard?name=COVID-19
A MESSAGE FROM TERRY CAGLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CONNECTING CARING COMMUNITIES:
These are strange times as we all experience a new thing—the COVID-19 pandemic. In times of “social distancing,” loving our neighbors and neighborhoods is so essential, even if done from a distance. We need to distance ourselves physically from others but not socially distance ourselves. Continue to love your neighbors and check on ’em!
We want you to know that we are suspending all in-person meetings and events until further notice. We hate this! But it is vitally important that we all think of others by keeping to ourselves. Love your neighbor with a phone call. For those who are struggling with getting groceries and other essentials, give us a call, and we’ll make a run to the store and drop it off on your porch. [See phone numbers below.]
How do we love our neighbors in a time like this?
Practice Physical Distancing: Public health professionals are all advising that the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid social contact. We must alter our daily lives to prevent as much person-to-person contact as possible. Physical Distancing is loving your neighbor!
Care for the Most Vulnerable: The people who are most at risk of severe symptoms and death from COVID-19 are the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Think about friends and neighbors who might fit these categories and check on them virtually—give them a call or text or email. Only check on them in person if there is no other way and do it while maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet between yourselves.
Many are vulnerable to the economic impacts. Many who work hourly are having hours cut, reduced, or even stopped altogether. There are people who cannot work from home, people who need childcare with schools closed, people who depend on the schools to feed their children, people without the internet, and people without groceries and other essentials.
Reject Hoarding and Stockpiling: Remember, when you buy more food and household supplies than you need, you are depriving others of necessities. Loving our neighbors looks like sharing our extras with others, not filling our closets with toilet paper! Get what you need, but don’t take more than you need.
Pray: Times like this remind us that we are not in control. There are no easy answers to a pandemic. But in the midst of even the worst of times, God is with us. Thank Him for his constant abiding presence and pray for your family, friends, and neighbors. Pray for the most vulnerable. Pray for all our leaders to make decisions out of care for the people they lead.
Please see the list of ideas for connecting with neighbors in this time of disconnection. We have also listed a few resources that you can connect with virtually.
BOOK SIGNING POSTPONED
A book signing for Les Hammond, author of “In the Arms of God,” has been postponed indefinitely. Two book signings were scheduled for March 21 at Texas Star Trading Company and both have been postponed.
Owners Glenn and Carol Dromgoole said in an email that autographed copies of Hammond’s book and Rick Meyers’ book on tennis are available at the store, 174 Cypress St. Books can be picked up inside the store or at curbside. Books also can be ordered by clicking the links below or by calling 325-672-9696.
CATHOLIC YOUTH EVENTS, RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION POSTPONED
In keeping with local church efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease by following the advice of public health experts, all religious education instruction and youth ministry gatherings in the Diocese of San Angelo are to be postponed through at least April 3.
The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis is hard at work developing guidance for parish religious education directors and coordinators to help them best continue their important roles in the church. These unprecedented times call for new solutions to new challenges as we continue our efforts to form disciples and accompany youth. More information will be available soon.
EPISCOPAL CHURCH RESOURCES
The Rev. Leann Wigner, Communications Coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas, has gathered a number of resources individuals and churches can use during this unprecedented time when in-person worship is suspended and many are forced to self-isolate. These can be found on the diocesan website.www.dionwt.org, on the tab “Coronavirus Updates and Resources for Churches” which is located under the Church Resources tab. The page has been divided into the following categories –
- Information about COVID-19
- From Bishop Scott Mayer
- From Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
- Online Worship Services in the Diocese of Northwest Texas (and beyond)
- Resources for Online Worship
- Staying Active (in Isolation) – this section includes, among other things, a number of links for educational activities for children while they are out of school!
To navigate to the page, click here.
The page will be updated as we get additional information from The Episcopal Church and other sources. If you have links to your church’s online worship or other resources that would be helpful for individuals or families, please email the information to Mtr. Leann at email@example.com or call her at 575-631-5345.
NEW BEGINNINGS BIG COUNTRY GARAGE SALE
After much thought and prayer, we will be rescheduling our annual fundraiser garage sale that was set for April 1-4. We have yet to determine when the new dates will be, but we wanted to get this word out immediately.
And while we are not operating in fear, we will be obedient to the wishes and wisdom of our local, state and national officials in this confusing time. The safety and health of our women and the community is of paramount importance to us. And we WILL reschedule soon.
Watch for a new date from us, and as ALWAYS, thank you for your hearts, your love and your prayers for these women.
ABILENE ASSOCIATION OF CONGREGATIONS
The March meeting of the Abilene Association of Congregations, originally scheduled for March 25, has been cancelled
ABILENE INTERFAITH COUNCIL
Leadership of the Abilene Interfaith Council issued the following announcement Tuesday, March 17:
Due to the concerns regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus and in the interest of complying with CDC guidance, the Board has decided to cancel our March program, “Grassroots Initiatives Toward Peace in Rural America” with speaker Becky Benes on Thursday, March 26th.
AIC’s remaining programs will continue as scheduled unless otherwise notified. So, please join us on Saturday, April 18, as we explore Abilene’s Hindu Temple!
Thank you again for your continued support as AIC partners with others to keep our community safe and healthy!
The Kairos Weekend, originally scheduled for the last weekend in March at the Robertson Unit, has been postponed. A new date will be announced