From Mother Pippa 6.17.2020

Thank you to everyone who joined us Sunday for worship! Many thanks to Deacon Chuck, Carrie Arndorfer, Tom Arndorfer and Mary-Beth Esser for all your hard work. Thank you also to everyone who has signed up to read with Lynn, and please do get in touch with her if you would like to read.

Thank you to everyone who has filled out the Worship Survey. You can fill it out by going to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DHLBCBS or by emailing your responses directly to Lynn or myself. The questions are:

  1. What makes church? What are the pieces that are most important to you?
  2. In terms of online worship, do you prefer watching it on Facebook or do you like seeing the other faces like you can during a Zoom meeting?
  3. Would you like to come to church if only ten people can attend at a time? Keep in mind that that number includes the worship leaders, so would likely mean 6 or 7 attendees.
  4. Would you be interested in a drive in service? We would meet in the Highway 67 parking lot and broadcast the service through the radio. There may or may not be the possibility of communion.
  5. How important is music in your worship experience?
  6. Other Comments:

So far I’ve received nearly 30 responses, and I want to respond to a couple comments that people have made. First I am delighted with how many people listed the importance of fellowship as a part of their worship experience. It is one of the things that makes St. Mary’s so strong, and it brought me joy to see people raise the importance of our community again and again (nearly two thirds mentioned fellowship or physical contact in their surveys). I also am so grateful for your flexibility in online worship. While it is no one’s first choice, I appreciate your willingness to protect others by staying at home.

I have at least five surveys where people questioned the rules around service attendance, correctly pointing out that Waukesha County is allowing groups of 100 to gather at this time. As the Episcopal Church, we are bound by the direction of our Bishop, and Bishop Miller has been very clear that we are caring for our members by continuing to social distance. We would follow his directives even if I disagreed, but I don’t. I continue to social distance, wear my mask in public and work from home because I want to protect my community. Over 58% of our parish is considered to be at “higher risk” by the CDC for coronavirus. I never want to allow for unsafe worship practices that could risk lives at St. Mary’s. Looking at the recommendations from doctors and scientists, I believe the Bishop is taking the right tact and fully support him.

Music continues to be rated as “Very Important” or “Important, but I understand there are risks.” I had one person suggest that we could sing at church while wearing masks, but I am afraid that is not supported by the science, or by the Bishop’s directives. I am grateful to Carrie for her creativity and flexibility, and willingness to be moved into the nursery once we have more people at church.

I’ll likely continue addressing the information found in the surveys over the next several weeks, and I really appreciate your input and feedback.

Prayers and blessings,
Mother Pippa