Three of four clergy at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Augusta, GA have Covid-19. Apparently, all three were vaccinated. Although some gatherings will be cancelled, services and Christian formation will take place Sunday, masks required.
August 13, 2021
Dear people of Good Shepherd,
I am confident that you do not need an email from me to tell you that the Delta variant of COVID 19 has changed the landscape. I am aware of at least eight parishioners who have tested positive in the last seven days, including three of our four clergy! Most have had mild to moderate symptoms; none has yet needed hospitalization. This level of community spread has required some rethinking of our plans at Good Shepherd. In particular, it is no longer wise for us to have large events incorporating a meal since it is impossible to remain masked while eating. Accordingly, our plans to restart the breakfast ministry beginning this Sunday and WAGS on Wednesday evening need to be postponed for the time being. We will continue to have church on our regular schedule (8:00, 9:00, 11:15 and 6:00 PM) and Christian formation, but mask[s] will be mandatory at all times in our buildings.
I am thankful that so many of our congregation have been vaccinated. With the vaccine, the chances of serious illness are dramatically reduced, which has allowed us to continue to offer worship in the church, albeit with masks. In the words of Andy Menger as his COVID symptoms abated: “thank God I got the vaccine.” Of course, I certainly understand why some of you may choose to stay home and participate virtually at this time. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to get the vaccine for your own sake and for the sake of all around you.
Your servant in Christ (and the only one of our clergy not infected)
St. Paul’s Episcopal, another Augusta church, is adjusting its precautions as well but contrary to Good Shepherd will not require those vaccinated to wear masks. The senior warden informed the congregation,
- If you have not been fully vaccinated, please wear a clean, well-fitting mask over your mouth and nose. If you have forgotten yours, masks are available in the narthex.
- Please stagger yourselves in the pews and try not to sit directly behind the person in front of you. ….
- Please avoid physical contact as we greet each other in peace.
- If you or your family members feel unwell, even if you believe that you do not have COVID, please join us from home ….