Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
A recent Update from the Diocesan Bishops and Regathering Team alerts us to the fact that currently Harford County leads the diocese and counties in Maryland with a Positivity Rate of 9.3% (under 5% is the benchmark for in-church worship), and is second highest in Case Rate of 34.5 (under 25 is the benchmark for in-church worship). The recommendation from the Bishops and Diocesan Regathering Team and Maryland Public Health officials is to suspend in-church worship for the next 2-4 weeks while we continue to monitor these key metrics. This is not a mandate, but in consultation with our Vestry, we agree that this is the prudent thing to do. Additionally, all the variant mutations of the virus are known to exist in the Mid-Atlantic region, and vaccination rates have been slowed down due to lack of available vaccines and the temporary suspension of using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Therefore, as of this Sunday, April 18, Christ Church Forest Hill will suspend in-church worship for the next 2-4 weeks. We will continue to Live Stream on the Christ Church Forest Hill Facebook page, and our website, christchurchforesthill.org. This includes the Sunday Services beginning at 9:45am each week, and our Monday through Friday Noonday Prayer which begins at 11:55am each day.
In addition, we will continue the current schedule of Holy Eucharist on the 1st, 2nd and 5th Sunday of each month, and Morning Prayer 2 on the 2nd and 4th Sundays.
We plan to have our annual Memorial Day Observance in the Cemetery on Monday, May 31 as that is an outdoors event. We ask that people plan to wear a mask and maintain Social Distancing of at least six-feet.
I am sorry to have to announce this just as we have experienced a return to church for Holy Week and Easter 2, but for the safety of all our congregation the local numbers are just too high at the present time to ignore. As soon as we get a recommendation to return, I assure you we will do so. Thank you for your patience and your ongoing participation in our Live Stream services! The Church with the Chimes is alive and well in Harford County, and we intend to continue to proclaim the Good News of Jesus: Christ is Alive! You are Forgiven! You are Loved!
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Kirk Kubicek, Priest in Charge