May 26, 2021

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Sunday Worship Updates

  • First and foremost, masking, distancing, and hand-washing remain of the utmost importance. Do not attend worship if you are feeling any symptoms of the Coronavirus.
  • Secondly, the COVID19 vaccines have been definitively proven to be safe and effective. It is encouraged in the strongest possible terms that all people who are eligible for the vaccine get it. This is encouraged both from a public health perspective and a Christian moral one. In addition to protecting you, the vaccine prevents further mutations that could undo all of the progress we have made. A part of what it means to "love your neighbor as yourself" is to do things for the good of all, even if there is risk involved - which includes being vaccinated. There is no requirement that those attending church be vaccinated, but it is strongly encouraged so that all in attendance will be at a significantly lower risk level.
  • Though some governmental and business regulations are being relaxed, in the Church, we go at the speed of the most vulnerable among us. In this situation, that is children under 12 who are not yet authorized to receive the vaccine. Just as we made changes and sacrifices a year ago to protect a different segment of our population, we continue doing so now. Even though the virus does not, in general, impact children in the same way that it does others, one preventable illness  (or, God forbid, death) is one more than is acceptable. Being the Body of Christ is not just jargon that we throw around, it is our identity, our responsibility, and our vocation. And as the Body, we move together. When all of our members are eligible for the vaccine or local transmission rates are near zero, the requirement for masking will joyfully be lifted. Yes, this protocol is out of step with much of culture, some might even say it doesn't make sense or is crazy. Who knows, perhaps someone will even say of us "Look how they love one another" (Tertullian, 2nd century referring to John 13:34 as it was practiced in the community).
  • We plan to livestream indefinitely, so if you are not ready to return to in-person worship, you will still be able to join us online. There is, however, ample room between our two Sunday liturgies for everyone who wants to return to in-person worship to do so. The procedures we have in place are designed to keep everyone safe and we are confident of the safety of again attending in-person worship. As such, the bulletin format will be shifting this coming Sunday to reflect an in-person experience. If you do not yet feel safe returning to worship, we respect that caution and are happy to let you borrow a Prayer Book and/or Hymnal if you do not have one at home so that you can fully participate in online worship. Please contact Caroline if you would like to pick one up.
  • Starting on Sunday, May 30 (The Feast of the Holy Trinity):
    • Singing is allowed by all present. Masks are absolutely required by all and must be worn properly. We also ask that you sing at a moderate volume and not as if you were a part of a choral performance.
    • The preacher (if vaccinated) can (and will) preach without a mask (with sufficient distance from the pulpit and first occupied pew).
    • Hymnals and Prayer Books will be back in the pews.
    • Though there is no capacity on the total number of people in the church, we are still limited to every other pew to maintain physical distancing, so we ask that you still sit only at pews with cushions. 
    • RSVP link for Sunday 10:30am
  • Starting on Sunday, June 6
    • RSVPs will no longer be required.
    • Each household (however you choose to define that) will have their own pew. No one will be asked to share a pew with anyone outside of their household, but if you would like to share a pew with others, you are welcome to. If you choose to share a pew with those not in your household, it is strongly encouraged that all people in your group be vaccinated (including children). Please only sit in an occupied pew if you have been invited to do so prior to arriving (we want to avoid having someone be in the awkward position of either being uncomfortable sharing a pew or having to tell someone "no"). 
    • At 8am, it is extremely unlikely that we will run out of pew space.
    • At 10:30am, we will have overflow seating set up in the Parish Hall. We have 32 pews with cushions available in the church - once those are full, we will utilize overflow seating in the Parish Hall. In the Parish Hall, you will be able to see and hear the full liturgy and will come into the church to receive Communion.
  • At this point, we are not yet authorized to pass the offering plate or share in partaking of the Chalice at Eucharist. The Bishops have assured us that they are continuing to research and consider bringing these important liturgical and sacramental actions back soon.
  • We hope to reopen the nursery at some point in June and will post updates as we have them. In the meantime, if you have nursery-aged children and feel comfortable being in public with them, please know that we would love to have them in worship with us: noises, giggles, goldfish crackers, and all.

Children's and Youth Ministry News

Click in to register for VBS 2021: 

Youth Sunday 2021

Make plans to join us for Evensong this Sunday, May 30, at 5:30pm, featuring music by Thomas Lee, Malcom Archer, and Simon Lindley. No advance registration is required. 

Outdoor Eucharists

Because so many of us enjoyed gathering outside for worship on Sunday evenings, we plan to continue having one outdoor Eucharist each month (as long as the weather cooperates) from June-October. It is our hope that as pandemic restrictions ease that we will be able to add more fellowship and food into the evening. Outdoor Eucharists will take place on the second Sunday of each month, so those dates will be: June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, and October 10. When in your seating area, masks are not required at outdoor liturgies. Masks are still required when interacting with other households at distances of less than 6 feet. No RSVPs required. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket to sit on. Outdoor worship will include music, a sermon, and Eucharist.

Subscribe to The Disciple

If you enjoy the NC Disciple, the Diocese's quarterly magazine, you need to subscribe to continue receiving it. St. Luke's will continue to receive limited print copies, but to receive it directly, you can subscribe to the new digital edition for free or continue with a paid print subscription. Learn more and find all subscription info on the diocesan website.

Recycling Opportunity

You can help keep used pens, markers, glue sticks, and related packaging from the landfill!  St. Luke's is a drop-off location for the Bic Recycling Program through TerraCycle

All brands of empty writing instruments, glue sticks, watercolor dispensers, paint sets, and flexible packaging can be dropped off on the front steps of St. Luke's on Sunday mornings in the provided box. They do not have to be completely clean or totally empty.

Local environmental advocacy group, Happy Roots, will be shipping off the recyclables that we collect, and earning reward points for the weight of their shipment, so this project also benefit another non-profit in our community.

Clean out your drawers and cabinets and do a small good deed for our planet.

If you can't bring items on a Sunday morning this month, contact Caroline and she can meet you another time.

Pastoral Care 

Ministering to the sick and those in crisis is an important part of the ministry of St. Luke’s. If you know of a parishioner who is in the hospital, is ill, or has other pastoral needs, please notify the clergy. Please don’t assume that someone else will notify us. We would rather hear from several people than not know when a member of our congregation needs a clergy visit. If you would like to have someone added to prayer list, after you have his/her permission, please contact the clergy or office staff. Those listed in the “crisis” section will be on the list for one month, after which they can be added again if the crisis continues; otherwise, they can be moved to the “ongoing” section. Please also help us by letting us know when we can remove someone from the list.

Those in crisis of health or circumstance: Patricia Bradley, Steve Bradley, Kathryn Braisher, Ellery Carlson, Graham Corriher, Lillie Cowan, Erin Downing, Brenda Forbis, Andrea Misenheimer, Chad Morgan, Mark Perry, Virginia Phillips, Nancy Stanback, Suzanne Strew

Those who are away at school:  Aidan DeHaas, Heather Duncan, Caroline Forbis, Zach Huddleston, Mary Kaufmann, Abigail Lund, Cassandra Phoenix, Hans Roemer, Ellen Simons

Those with ongoing needs due to health, circumstance, or civic service: Dick Brownell, Patrick Carter, David Cline, Donna Gravely, Ellery, Emily Hain, David Hamaty, Betty Hedrick, Blair Joyner, David Kemp, Jason Koontz, Walker Latimer, Don Lyerly, Jane Maxwell, Nan Medley, Joanne Nichols, Jim Phillips, Nik Plumley, Ian Schulte, Oliver Scott, Dirk Steenwyk, Ruth Trollinger, Barbara Upright

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