Pastoral Update ~ May 23, 2020

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A Pastoral Update Regarding St. Thomas and the First Steps of Re-Opening

Dear Friends:

You may have seen in the news yesterday, a statement by President Trump and his intention to call communities of faith as “essential workplaces and his desire to see houses of worship re-open immediately.”  Unfortunately, the statement does not change the phase-in process of re-opening that St. Thomas is already a part of.  Being Episcopalian means we are in connection, both here at St. Thomas and our greater community of Cincinnati, Ohio and beyond. We celebrate that we are all doing to keep each other safe and healthy, even when this means sharing an inconvenience and even some sacrifice.  Community is worth this continued effort.

Phase One of the Re-Opening Plan for Southern Ohio directs that all normal onsite operations of the parish remain suspended until further notice. All previously scheduled events at St. Thomas, including public worship services, our music series and other special events are cancelled, postponed or moved online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While we are all anxious to return to our regular parish life, we recognize that we must do so carefully and in coordination with local authorities and especially with the directions of our diocese.  This is part of what it means to care and support one another, especially our most vulnerable individuals.  How and when we can resume more aspects of public and parish life will be communicated in the coming weeks.

At this time, our community continues to connect online through our website and our dedicated YouTube Channel where you can find our services presented for you to pray and worship in your homes.  We also have a dedicated page within our website where you can find the latest updates and resources regarding St. Thomas and our response to COVID-19.  The Church remains open for individual prayer (9am-1pm Mon. – Fri.); and our parish office continues to have limited staff on-hand to coordinate essential ministry services only.

We apologize for the inevitable disruption and inconvenience that these measures cause, and we anxiously await being able to have you join us in-person and resume more of our community life just as soon as possible.  Until then, please be well, stay connected and may God’s PEACE and blessings be with you and your whole family!