Tuesday, March 30th, 2021
“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher).”
My siblings in Christ,
The joy of Easter is almost upon us. Like Mary Magdalene, we feel the growing excitement and long to rush and embrace the risen Jesus. As we open our hearts to receive him, we must exercise caution when it comes to gathering in-person. As I wrote in my Guidance for Holy Week and Easter, we must always remain vigilant and take every precaution. This is more important now than when the guidance was first released. In recent weeks, both the number of cases and positivity rates in our diocese have climbed dramatically. In addition, there are growing numbers of U.K. variant which is 50% more transmissible. We must therefore continue to take the utmost precaution as we proceed.
To ensure that we continue to fulfill our commitment to keep one another safe, please remember that at this time, it is still safer not to gather in-person, especially indoors. If you wish to gather, outdoors is far safer (but still not without risk). If you gather indoors, in addition to all other protocols, please be sure to both maximize your ventilation and minimize the length of time you are together.
As before, if you have questions, please contact Canon Wamsley (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Canon Berlenbach (email@example.com). If you have a need that is not addressed by or exceeds this guidance, please email me directly, copying them when you do. Please explain what it is you feel called to do, why it is important to your church, and what steps you would take to ensure safety for all involved.
The end of Lent is now so close that we can almost touch it. The promise of Easter is on the horizon. In the same way, we are very close to the end of this pandemic. However, we are not yet out of it. Let us recommit ourselves to loving and caring for one another as Christ loves us. There is no more appropriate way to celebrate the joy of the resurrection.
I am profoundly grateful for all that we have accomplished together and I hold you all in my daily prayers.
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania