A virus "Double Whammy"
Dear Parish Family,
A few short weeks ago, on July 18, we were able to restart worship together inside our All Saints building, with some feelings of relative safety, by following precautions, including hand-sanitizing, air filtration, and individual Communion cups. We had been watching our state's daily numbers of infections dropping even to single digits and feeling proud of the high percentage of vaccinated Vermonters.
Then, suddenly the Delta variant surged across the globe, and yes, even into Vermont. We have experienced " a virus variant double whammy!"
From the Diocese:
In light of the recent rise in coronavirus cases associated with the highly
transmissible Delta variant, the Diocesan Restart Team now recommends
that parishes require face masks and social distancing indoors for all
persons and groups using church buildings.
This recommendation is consistent with the advice of the Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) that face masks be worn indoors by both vaccinated
and unvaccinated people in areas of substantial transmission. Today, every
Episcopal church in Vermont but one is located in a substantial or high
transmission area, and so the Restart Team asks all congregations to follow
If we thought that we were suffering "virus fatigue" during the previous seventeen months, the explosive surge of the Delta variant now makes it clear that there is more of this pandemic still to endure, even here. This level of stress and worry is also compounded daily by troubling news on domestic or international fronts: reports on devastating tropical storms, the earthquake in Haiti, and raging fires in western states.
In the midst of discouraging events at home and abroad, it would be easy to lose heart. Yet, even in the midst of surges and storms, as followers of Jesus we hold onto and share a gift of faith which is powerfully expressed in Paul's letter to the Romans, Chapter 8:
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities
nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth,
nor any other created things, shall be able to separate us from the love of
God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Together, as the community of believers, we share a powerful and sustaining gift of the Spirit called "Hope", eloquently described in this poem by Emily Dickinson:
"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm
I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea
Yet never in Extremity
It asked a crumb - of me.