Monday, January 25th, 2021
My siblings in Christ,
The days are starting to lengthen and with it our hope for the days ahead is strengthened and renewed. But the brightest light is Jesus Christ and in him all things will be restored. As I stated in my letter of January 13, we will move into our modified Phase II protocols starting February 6. At that time churches may resume in-person worship at a limited 10% capacity and pastoral services may resume without special permission. (All COVID updates and resources can be found here.)
As we previously announced, suggestions for Ash Wednesday can be found here. If you have a particular circumstance that would require exceeding these limits, I will consider them on a case-by-case basis. Please email me directly, copying Canon Shawn Wamsley, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Canon Kirk Berlenbach, email@example.com. We will continue to closely monitor the numbers and update you as to when we may move to a less restrictive phase.
In terms of the vaccine, as you know, our efforts were instrumental in getting clergy classified as essential workers (Phase 1b). Canon Toneh Smyth is continuing to lead our efforts to get clergy registered and vaccinated as soon as possible. However, supplies remain very limited and access to it is taking longer than hoped. We will keep you apprised as we get more information. We have posted updates to the vaccine process here. If you have questions about the vaccine please contact Canon Toneh Smyth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward in hope to the time when we may safely gather in-person again. In the meantime, we journey together faithfully following the light of Jesus Christ. You are in my daily prayers and I am grateful to be your shepherd.
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania