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Re: services and ringing at the advent


I wanted to report an update about the ringing room at Old North. The
plywood boards covering the windows at Old North were no longer up - thus,
we were able to open both windows during service ringing.

The sexton seemed very supportive of our ringing today, which coincided
with the new vicar's first service. We will continue looking to guidance
from the church (and city) for service ringing moving forward.

Thank you,

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 1:02 PM Dale Winter <moikney gmail com> wrote:

> Hello all,
> We have some disappointing news (see below) from the Advent, where in
> person services are being suspended due to updated occupancy 
> requirements.
> I understand from Austin that this likely means that we will be 
> cancelling
> service ringing at Advent this week (Austin please correct me if I am
> wrong). We do not yet know what it will mean in the longer term, and are
> seeking guidance from the church on that.
> I did just check with sexton at Old North who confirms that we ARE still
> good to ring there starting this week per John's arrangements. I could
> imagine that the same guidance from the bishops may end up impacting 
> that,
> but we will have to wait and see.
> Thanks all,
> dale
> ###########################################################
> Excerpt from the Advent newsletter (just copy pasting the text as the 
> body
> ends up hitting size limits for the list)
> ###########################################################
> Dear Parishioners & Friends of the Advent,
> I have received a communication from the Bishop advising further changes 
> to
> our worship patterns during this Covidtide.
> The diocesan communique reiterates the counsel, given in June, that
> in-person church services cannot be advised. However, should services be
> held, precautions (masks, Communion in one kind, distancing, 
> registration,
> etc.) remain in place. These we have observed faithfully and successfully
> since we reopened in July. To my knowledge, since July, we have not had a
> COVID diagnosis amongst anyone attending Mass at the Advent.
> The Massachusetts Safety Standard for Public Worship currently limits
> occupancy at a religious service to 40% of the building’s occupancy – in
> our case some 160 persons at any one time. Given that we are averaging
> about 120 souls per Sunday, split between two Masses, these occupancy
> levels have not been an issue for us. However, the new diocesan 
> guidelines
> provide for a maximum of 25 persons at any one time, in light of 
> increased
> infection rates. This maximum of 25 is based on the Commonwealth 
> guidelines
> for secular indoor event venues: “where state standards for places of
> worship are more permissive than those for other gathering places, we
> expect our churches to adhere to the more limited standards provided for
> other public venues.” The bishops write of their hope that “… renewed
> restrictions, while causing short-term disappointment, will help us
> traverse the coming months in greater health …”
> This new attendance threshold means that we cannot do things as we have
> been doing them for the last five months. This news was received at noon 
> on
> Thursday, so the leadership team of the Advent has not yet had time to
> digest the implications of the new guidance and how it will play out in 
> our
> particular circumstances.
> Accordingly, until we can get a handle on things,
>    - Public worship this coming Sunday, November 22nd, is suspended. A 
> Mass
>    will be sung for webcast purposes with only those necessary present,
> but in
>    any case under the 25-person threshold, and observing the necessary
>    precautions.
>    - In-person Christian education offerings are likewise suspended.
>    - We will continue to offer our regular online offerings of Chapters,
>    Choral Evensong, Meditations, and a rebroadcast of the Sunday Mass.
> You should expect a further update from me next week.
> Needless to say, this new guidance is disappointing. The Mass, both Meal
> and Sacrifice, is of great importance to our spiritual, emotional, and
> psychological well-being. The Church is, of her very nature, the 
> gathering
> of the baptized; and indeed, the Greek word ekklesia means ‘the assembly 
> of
> believers called out of the world’. In this corporate worship “we unite
> ourselves with others to acknowledge the holiness of God, to hear God’s
> Word, to offer prayer, and to celebrate the sacraments” (Catechism, BCP, 
> p.
> 857). As Henri de Lubac famously said, “the Eucharist makes the Church.”
> In the midst of this disappointment, yours and mine, I would offer three
> thoughts, all drawn from the calendar of the Church, and which I have 
> found
> helpful. Perhaps you will too.
> First, this coming Sunday is the culmination of the ecclesiastical year,
> the Feast of Christ the King. Some have taken of late to calling it The
> Reign of Christ, but I think this is unsatisfactory. Growing up in 
> Canada,
> a constitutional monarchy, I know that The Queen reigns, but does not 
> rule.
> Christ both reigns and rules! As the Missal Preface puts it, he is “King 
> of
> all … subduing unto his rule the whole creation … a kingdom endless and
> universal; a kingdom of truth and life; a kingdom of grace and holiness, 
> a
> kingdom of peace, of love and of righteousness.” I would remind you that,
> whatever is going on, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, Christ
> is King, and all – including the demonic forces of pestilence and 
> disease –
> is subject to his sway and sovereignty. God has made him “far above all
> principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is
> named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Eph
> 1:21). We know how the story turns out. In the end, His will be done!
> Secondly, Advent will soon be upon us. Advent is the season of waiting,
> watching, and expectation. With God’s ancient people we cry: “O that thou
> wouldest rend the heavens and come down” (Isa. 64:1, Lesson for Advent 
> I).
> This
> Covidtide too has been a season of waiting: “Wait two weeks to level the
> curve; wait a few weeks more; wait until we have a vaccine; wait until 
> the
> vaccine is distributed. Wait.” Waiting is hard. I am consoled by the fact
> that therapeutics continue to improve, and that a vaccine will soon be 
> made
> available, and that in the fullness of time, things will resolve
> themselves. It will get better.
> Thirdly, I think of the Paschal Mystery: that is, the death and
> resurrection of our Lord. The pattern, both for Christ, and we little
> christs (for that is what Christian means), is always death and
> resurrection, dark winter giving way to a bright spring. For many in our
> parish and the wider society, this time has been very difficult indeed:
> loneliness and sickness and suffering, economic devastation, concerns 
> about
> civil and ecclesiastical liberties – it is possible to be concerned with
> more than one thing at once! For some, it may seem that they are sealed 
> up
> in the darkness of the tomb. But again, we know how the story turns out: 
> As
> we sing at Easter:
> Death’s mightiest powers have done their worst,
> And Jesus hath his foes dispersed;
> Let shouts of praise and joy outburst. Alleluya!
> As I said, you will hear more from me next week. In the meantime, know 
> that
> you may call any of your priests for counsel, or simply for a sympathetic
> ear.
> DEA+
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