Tuesday, April 28, 2020

From Bishop Jake Owensby

The clergy of the Diocese received this today from Bishop Owensby...

COVID-19 Phased Reopening of Churches

Please read the following letter from the bishop. A note on virtual clergy conversations and meeting information for tomorrow is also below.

April 28, 2020

Dear Friends,

Yesterday Governor Edwards announced that, if the metrics required by the health profession are met, Louisiana will perhaps move into Phase I of the return to public interactions May 15. Like you, I hope that we meet the necessary metrics to begin moving toward our new normal of public life even as I recognize that it will require a great deal of preparation. To that end, I have asked Canon John Bedingfield to prepare for you a document outlining the parameters of Phase I and the preparations of Phase I will require. You will find that document attached. We will be discussing it together at tomorrow’s Zoom meeting. Please look it over. And remember that we are here to help you in any way that we can.

I have been touched and inspired with your responses to this very difficult time. Your love and creativity have kept your people mindful of Christ’s healing presence. You’ve offered comfort and wisdom, insight and humor. Thank you!

As you read through the attached guidelines, you may feel overwhelmed by the tasks set before us to get ready for and to live into Phase I. Many of us are already pushing about as hard as we can. Now we anticipate continuing virtual worship but also offering in-person worship under controlled conditions of physical distancing and sanitation. In other words, I recognize that you will be stretching yourselves thin once again. So I bid you, take care of yourselves. Recognize that you need rest, that you will make mistakes, and that you can only do the good that you can do.

As I mentioned above, we will discuss these guidelines and seek your input tomorrow. Please review them. And know that we are all in this together.

In Christ’s Peace,


The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, PhD, DD
4th Bishop of Western Louisiana