St. A's News

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We Return to In-Person Worship with a Hybrid Service

We return (again!) with in-person worship on September 12. We will hold a hybrid service, so feel free to join us either in-person or remotely via Zoom or Facebook.

All are welcome!

As always, if you have any questions about this or any other issue, please get in touch with Scott: priest@staugustinesdc.org.

Possible COVID Exposure on August 29

 

No in-person worship September 5

This past Sunday, we met for our first in-person/hybrid worship service in nearly 18 months. On Tuesday evening, Rev. Scott was informed that one of the people present had tested positive for COVID-19 after developing symptoms on the Monday after our service. Note that this person is vaccinated.

Since everyone in attendance wore masks throughout the service and, to our knowledge, all in attendance were vaccinated, the likelihood of any transmission should be very low. Nevertheless, we have taken this possible exposure very seriously. Those who were in attendance were contacted on Wednesday with the information about their possible exposure and encouraged to get tested for COVID.

For those of us present last Sunday, our first step, of course, was to get tested. Scott and one other parishioner first used an at-home test—which is relatively inaccurate—and both of us got a positive result. Both Scott and this parishioner then got more accurate PCR tests at a local pharmacy—and both tests came back negative.

All other people who have reported their test results to Scott have also reported negative results, so we are reasonably sure that no transmission has occurred. However, because there were some positive results—even though the positive results came from low-accuracy tests—we will not meet for worship in-person this Sunday. Please join us remotely via Zoom or Facebook Live.

We will be in touch next week with more updates about this situation, and we intend and hope to have in-person worship available for September 12. We will confirm this via email, Facebook, and on our site later next week.

As always, if you have any questions about this or any other issue, please get in touch with Scott: priest@staugustinesdc.org.

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We Return to In-Person Worship on August 29!

 

Please read below for details, such as the requirement to wear masks and the strong encouragement to be vaccinated before attending.

 

The last time we met for worship inside our sanctuary was March 8, 2020. In the nearly year-and-a-half since then, we have continued to worship, learn, and keep fellowship remotely: by phone, video conference, Facebook, and email. Our community has shown incredible resilience throughout this time, and we remain a well-connected and committed community.

However, for the vast majority of us, maintaining community in this remote way has been far from ideal. Many of you have spoken to me of your longing to return to the building, to worship together and spend time in one another's presence. Of course, we had to prioritize the health and safety of our families and communities, and so we did the best we could with a difficult situation.

As the various vaccines were introduced in late 2020 and continued to be administered in 2021, the rate of infection began to drop precipitously, and in May of this year we began discussions as a community about when—and how—to re-open for in-person worship. Finally, now, after a long exile, we can return: we will hold in-person worship beginning on August 22 at 9:30am.

This is of course joyous news, but we must remain vigilant against COVID-19 and continue to prioritize our health and safety, and that of our families and communities, especially as the rate of infection has begun to climb again due to the Delta Variant of the virus. So, even as we re-open for worship, there are a number of important stipulations.

Please read the details of our re-opening plan below:

1. Remote worship will remain available:
Even as we return to in-person worship, we know that many people may prefer or even need to continue to worship remotely. On August 22, we will be launching a hybrid service: we will hold our service in-person but will livestream the whole service via Zoom so that those who choose to remain at home can continue to join us. We will also hold our Sunday Forum after the service and will make this available via livestream too.

2. Please do not attend in-person if you have symptoms of respiratory infection:
If you have symptoms of the COVID-19 infection, such as fever, persistent coughing, nasal or bronchial congestion, head or body aches, or shortness of breath, please do not attend in-person worship (or any other public gatherings!) until you received a negative COVID test.

Please note that we will record the names of those who attend so that we can facilitate contact tracing in the event of any infection among attendees.

 

3. Masks will be required for all people while inside:
Everyone will be required to keep a mask over their nose and mouth while they are inside the building.

 

4. We urge those who attend in-person to be fully vaccinated:
Although we will not be requiring proof of vaccination status for those entering the building, we strongly urge people who want to attend in-person to be fully vaccinated, both for their health and for the health of others in attendance. We know that some people, for health reasons, may not be able to receive the vaccine, and we welcome anyone who finds themselves in this situation to continue to join us remotely. Again, please note that the service will be available via livestream.

We understand that no children under the age of 12 can currently receive the vaccine, and only their parents can decide whether such children should attend in-person. It's not an easy decision to make, and please know that if you'd like to talk with Scott about this situation, he would be happy to talk: priest@staugustinesdc.org.

 

5. We will not hold Coffee Hour after the service:
St. A's has a long and wonderful tradition of sharing coffee, snacks, and fellowship after the service. However, since drinking and eating require us to lower our masks for extended periods, we will not be sharing food or beverages together. We know that abstaining from this time of fellowship will be difficult, but again, we must prioritize the health and safety of our communities.

6. We will continue to evaluate the situation:
The threat posed by COVID-19 continues, especially in the form of the Delta Variant, which is now increasing infection rates across the country, including the DC area. St. Augustine's leadership will continue to evaluate the situation, and we may make further changes to our in-person worship plan in the weeks and months to come.

 

Note again that we will continue also make our worship service available remotely via Zoom. To join us remotely, please contact Rev. Scott for the connection details: priest@staugustinesdc.org.

Newcomers are always welcome!

Derek Chauvin Convicted of Murdering George Floyd

On Tuesday, Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd. He was convicted on all 3 charges brought before the court; he remains to be sentenced sometime in the near future.

This conviction will not bring George back, nor will it single-handedly end systemic racism or state violence. But it is a real step of accountability, especially considering how rarely police officers are even charged with crimes after using deadly force.

This conviction is a victory for justice, although we know it is one step in a very long journey. The last few weeks have brought news of police violence and intimidation to people of color across the country. At St. Augustine's, we commit to being an active ally in anti-racist work. As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or ideas about this work, please contact Rev. Scott at priest@staugustinesdc.org

Bishop Mariann has released her own statement on the conviction, which you can read here.

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Holy Week 2021

As Lent comes to an end, Easter is on the horizon. For nearly 2,000 years, Christians have spent the week before Easter in especially attentive prayer. The 3 days leading up to Easter are especially significant. Together they form the Triduum: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.

 

St. Augustine's will hold services on all 3 days, and we invite everyone to join us! Here is our schedule:

Maundy Thursday Service: April 1 at 6:30

Good Friday Stations of the Cross Service: April 2 at 12 noon
Good Friday Evening Service: April 2 at 6:30pm

Holy Saturday Easter Vigil: April 3 at 6:30pm

 

Please join us! All services will be live-streamed on our Facebook Page.

(You don't need a Facebook account to watch!)

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Women's History Forum:
March 21

March is Women's History Month! Here at St. A's we will celebrate the month with a special Sunday forum on March 21, right after our worship service. Guests are invited to tell us about a woman in your life—a mother, grandmother, aunt, daughter, professor, priest, doctor, writer, politician, saint, or any historical figure—who has inspired, taught or shaped you in significant ways.

Please join us!

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Upcoming Online Concert!

We are also very excited to continue our celebration of Black History Month with a special concert of traditional Spirituals performed by Stephanie Ball, concert artist and curator. Ms. Ball will present Musical MonumentsSpirituals and the African American Concert Tradition on Friday, February 26th at 7:30pm and again as a matinee performance at 2:30pm on Sunday, February 28th. You can get tickets here.

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Worship Online Every Sunday

Although we are not meeting in-person due to the coronavirus, we worship together every Sunday online. Click here to see past and present services.

We also gather for worship on Tuesday evenings and for Bible Study on Thursday evenings.

Newcomers are always welcome!

Response to White Nationalist Terrorism in DC
statement released by Rev. Scott on January 6, 2021

On January 6, 2021, some supporters of the current president who do not accept the legitimate election results from November 2020 broke into the Capitol building and assaulted Capitol police with tear gas. Some of these terrorists accessed the Senate chamber (members of the House and Senate had been evacuated). As Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has said, the “events at our Capitol [on January 6] are deeply disturbing. We believe the actions of armed protesters represent a coup attempt.” 

We strongly encourage you to read the statement released by the Movement for Black Lives, "Dear Black People", which astutely summarizes the reality we witnessed yesterday:

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Mayor Muriel Bowser has issued a 15-day State of Emergency for the District. We encourage everyone living in the District to pay close attention to news and any alerts from the DC government.

St. Augustine's does not endorse political parties or candidates. But we do endorse fair elections. And we do un-endorse the violence at the Capitol on January 6. We are glad that Congress officially certified the results of the 2020 presidential election on January 7. We urge federal and municipal authorities to protect DC residents and prevent further violence from white nationalist terrorists who may remain in our city.

We Return to In-Person worship August 29!
 

We've had to delay our return to in-person worship by one week, but on August 29 we finally return! We will hold a hybrid service, with both the in-person option as well as the ability to join remotely via Zoom. (Please note that for the time being we will not be able to stream via Facebook.)

To join remotely, just log onto our Zoom channel tomorrow around 9:25. Due to changes in our A/V setup, we won't have the liturgy on screen. Instead, please download the service bulletin so that you can join the service's songs, prayers, and readings: