Dear People of St. John’s,
Friday’s coronavirus news has included the declaration of national and South Carolina states of emergency, preceded by the cancelation of almost all public gatherings of any size. Friday, our bishop also offered guidance that all meetings and church social events should be suspended. Happening at Camp Gravatt was canceled. Many argue that all reasonable steps should be taken to slow the spread of the virus, so that our medical resources are not overburdened.
Thus, it seems prudent to pause the life of St. John’s for two Sundays, as have other congregations in Columbia and across the country. We will not gather in person for worship on Sunday, March 15 or Sunday, March 22. The 10:30 service will be streamed live via our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/StJohnsEpiscopalChurchShandon/) this Sunday. There will be Scripture, a sermon, prayers, and intercession for our neighbors and the world at this troubling time. Words of hope, assurance, and a call to courage will be there, too.
This means all church classes, youth ministry, Wednesday night, guild gatherings, and meetings at St. John’s will be suspended for the same period. This will be a good time for all of us to stay home, if not out of a sense of risk to self, then out of a commitment to the common good. Accepting these restrictions is a way to love our neighbors, as the Lord commanded.
With hope and in Christ,
The Rev. Nicholas M. Beasley