Important Message from the Rector – Dec. 18, 2020

Friday, Dec. 18, 2020
Greetings beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,
A week ago, I informed you that we needed to close the church and office until further notice and that the services for December 12 & 13 were canceled. I hoped at the time that we might be able to reopen soon. Unfortunately, the 3 indicators of the Arizona Health Department have been in the red zone since November 15, and are still going up. You can look this up at https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-schools.
We all know people in our families, friends, or neighbors, who got Covid-19. We know it’s real and present in the quad-cities area. So, as long as we are in this situation, and as long as the 3 indicators of the Health Department are in the red, we can’t function as usual, and we need to go back to Phase I in order to protect ourselves and those we love. I want to emphasize that, supported by the Vestry, I did not make this decision out of fear or despair, but only out of love and concern for the whole congregation.
I understand how frustrating it can be when our traditional ways of being church have been taken from us. I understand how frustrating it is when you feel isolated and when what is important to you is not available anymore. We are learning to do church differently. This is not perfect, but we can still be a loving, serving, and worshiping community through the various tools available to us (computers, tablets, smartphones, phones, letters…).
When will we be able to resume our in-person services and meetings? 
As soon as the indicators will allow us to do it safely. We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep you posted. I think nothing will change before January 24. So, I hope our next in-person services will be on January 31 (sooner if the situation evolves in the right direction). Meanwhile, we will work to provide you with different worship experiences (Daily Offices on certain days, Zoom services, and recorded services).
Concretely, what does that mean for St Luke’s?
The office is closed.
  • The staff is encouraged to work mainly from home and will come to the office to check the mail, the voicemails and assure the tasks that can’t be done remotely get done.
  • All in-person meetings are discouraged, even for small groups. Groups and commissions are invited to meet virtually. If you need to organize a meeting, Beth or Lauree will set up a Zoom meeting for you.
Worship is virtual.
  • The Wednesday weekly Healing service is on Zoom at 10:00 am. All are welcome to attend. We tested our first Zoom healing service this week, and it worked pretty well.
  • A simple Sunday Service is available online beginning at 5:30 pm on Saturday evening.
  • The Christmas Eve service, recorded at the church, will be online at 5:00 pm on Christmas Eve.
  • A simple Christmas Day service will be online at 10:00 am on Christmas Day.
  • All online services are available on the welcome page of our website, our Facebook page, and on our YouTube channel.
  • If you want to have communion when you are watching a service online, consecrated elements will be available for pick-up on December 22 from 9:30 am to Noon, and December 23 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
  • Beginning on January 8, the consecrated elements will be available for pick-up each Friday morning from 9:30 am to noon.
The Food Pantry is open. 
  • Thursday from 2:00 pm to 4 pm, drop-off food drives continue. There will be no drop-off food drive on Thursday, December 24.
  • Friday morning from 9:00 am to noon, the pantry is working with a smaller crew and follows strict protocols to keep the crew and the patrons safe. Please note that the Food Pantry will be closed on Friday, December 25.
Pastoral Care is available.
For a pastoral emergency, please use the Pastoral Care direct line: 928.460.2736
Thank you for your patience. I know that the situation will change and that there is a light at the end of this dark time. Let us all prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christmas, with the coming of the true and eternal Light into our world.
God keep you and bless you.
Pierre-Henry