A message from Rector about novel coronavirus, COVID-19, concerns at COGS (Church of the Good Shepherd):
As of Mar 27, 2020
Easter Changed Everything. That’s FOREVER TRUE!
This Year, We Must Change HOW We Celebrate this Truth.
Bishop Requires Social Distancing to Continue through April 15th
On March 26th, the Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith, Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, directed that the churches in of this diocese maintain the the practice of having no more than 10 people in a room at one time, all remaining 6 ft. apart. Parishioners are encouraged to join their church families in worship online.
For those who do not have live-stream capabilities at home, our services are being streamed in Kirk Hall, where 10 chairs will be available.
The Holy Week and Easter Service schedule will be published soon.
Please take loving care of your neighbors and yourself.
As of Mar 21, 2020
COVID-19 has hit COGS
Dear Church Family,
Even with all of our precautions, COVID-19 has hit COGS. A church member with whom most the staff and I have been within 6 feet of has tested positive for the virus. The Pinellas Health Department called me and the other staff members with the news and directed us to self-isolate for 14 days. We are in the process of being tested ourselves, but of course, the results aren’t known yet.
This changes things a little:
- The second floor, including the offices, is closed to the public through at least April 3. Please call, text or email us, though!
- Please take seriously our need to self-isolate! None of us wants to be the one who infects someone else.
- I will not be able to make in-person pastoral visits unless and until my test comes back negative.
- Sunday services will continue to be live-streamed, but no one – not even 10 people – can be in the sanctuary with me until I have those test results. (I’m feeling fine, by the way.) The links below will connect you with the services.
What you can do:
- Don’t be alarmed! These steps are made in an abundance of caution, not because there’s a big problem.
- Pray! pray for the well-being of your fellow parishioner, who feels awful about what’s happened. The good news is that, so far, the virus’ effects have been mild.
- Pray for us and for everyone else in isolation, pray for this country and this planet. That’s one thing we should keep doing even after we get the all clear!
- Keep checking our Facebook and Website for updates, and check out the video meditations I’ve been posting.
My verse for this moment is from John 4:18: There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out fear.
Love and blessings,
March 17, 2020
Dear Church Family:
Our primary concern is to reduce the potential for spreading the COVID-19 virus by those of us who are asymptomatic. To love our neighbors best, your Wardens and I have made the following plans and decisions:
GATHER ONLINE ON SUNDAYS
- It is your pastor’s calling and joy to lead this church family in worship, and I will continue to offer services on Sunday.
- BOTH THE 8:00 A.M. AND 10 A.M. services will be STREAMED LIVE ONLINE. This is how we encourage you to gather with your church family for now.
- In-person attendance at services are not a current option. We value the health and safety of each of you and will continue to promote self-distancing measures.
- Look for an email each Saturday with links to the services and attaching the bulletins for the services.
- If you don’t get our emails, find the links to our YouTube channel and the service bulletins on our website.
WE ARE LIMITING FACE-TO-FACE GATHERINGS
- Church offices will be physically closed through April 2nd. Staff will be available during normal business hours via email and phone only.
- Our Wednesday and Saturday services will not meet. Participation in Sunday services will be available on-line only.
- Most Church-sponsored meetings and classes will NOT be held. Check our online calendar if you aren’t sure.
PRAYER BRINGS PEACE!
- Join people around the world for the daily offices services in the Book of Common Prayer in the Morning, at Noonday, in the Evening, and for Compline.
- Links to sites offering the Daily Office are on our website and Facebook pages.
God bless you and keep you and those whom you love healthy.
Rector of The Church of the Good Shepherd.
If you have ANY questions or concerns, please contact Pastor Becky or the church office.
Services Online Worship Bulletins Prayer Resources
For the latest information on health and safety, local event cancellations, and other COVID-19 facts, please visit the CDC’s website or visit the Tampa Bay Times special Coronavirus in Florida section updated hourly.