Lion

Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church

552 West End Avenue, New York, New York 10024
(Church Entrance on 87th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue)
Tel. (212) 580-3326 ~ Fax (212) 873-1452

 
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Information for Our Community during the present COVID-19 Emergency

Christian community exists to show the world the power of God to overcome death and despair and to proclaim the Kingdom of God in which love defeats death. One of the ways we do this is by loving each other. This is especially important here and now.

Individually and collectively over the past four months we have been experiencing the trauma and dislocation of a once-a-century global public health crisis that is far from over. Although we, the people of New York, have made extraordinary efforts and sacrifices, and have seen cases and deaths come down dramatically since their heights in April, Covid-19 is still with us and we must remain vigilant.

Everyone is anxious for our lives to get back to some semblance of normal; to see churches, schools, and businesses open again. Over the past month we have, for better or worse, been slowly moving in that direction, although in recent days, with growing numbers of cases in other states, government officials have, quite sensibly, been expressing greater caution. Nevertheless, with the introduction of Phase 2 reopening in New York State, the Governor has allowed houses of worship to reopen at reduced capacity, specifically 25% of occupancy, with specific guidance for health and safety. Additionally, the Bishop of New York, from July 1, has given his permission for churches in the diocese to begin to reintroduce public worship, slowly and carefully, incorporating strict social distancing requirements, and obeying all State regulations.

Our Bishop, along with the Roman Catholic leadership in New York and other experts who have made recommendations to sacramental Christian denominations, have at the same time made it clear that Eucharistic worship presents special challenges for safe gathering as long as Covid-19 remains a threat. It has also become evident that choral music and congregational singing will not be possible for the foreseeable future, as this is a particularly effective way of spreading the disease. Furthermore, indoor social gatherings like coffee hour remain problematic and unadvisable.

The Bishop said unequivocally that churches must make decisions about reopening that reflect the needs and conditions of local communities and that remaining closed over the summer is something many churches are quite reasonably and thoughtfully doing. I have determined, therefore, in consultation with medical experts and the Churchwardens and Vestry, that the wisest course of action for the health and safety of our community is for the building to remain closed and public worship suspended through Labor Day.

As I have said before throughout this crisis, however, the Church has never been closed. It is only our buildings that are shut to make sure we do not become centres of spreading disease.

We will continue to worship and gather together in the new ways that have become familiar and nourishing for us:

-The Rev’d Dr Andrew C. Blume, Rector

Worship

As stated above, public worship in the parish is suspended at least through Labor Day weekend, Sunday, 6 September. Maintaining a pattern of common worship, however, is essential for Christian Community.

Solemn Mass is live streamed on our YouTube channel Sundays at 11 AM EDT, and as announced on feast days. These services are all available to watch anytime after on YouTube.

Evening Prayer is said weekdays at 6 PM EDT on Zoom
The Great Litany is said Fridays at Noon EDT on Zoom
The Office of the Dead is prayed Saturdays at 10 AM EDT on Zoom
You can find the links to all Zoom services here.

As long as there remains any need for social distancing (and hopefully beyond), we will maintain a pattern of live streamed and on line worship.

Additionally, it is also now possible for us to offer the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Matrimony. If you feel called to either of these sacraments, please be in touch with me and we can discuss how to proceed and what this would look like. We are also able to bury the dead according to the rites of the Church.

Pay attention to the Rector’s emails and this space for details and developments.


Parish Office

As our organist & choirmaster and office coordinator, Richard Porterfield lives on the church property, he will be at work and the office is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons. The parish office is available by phone at 212-580-3326 or by

Furthermore, as we continue to operate the Soup Kitchen, our sexton will be in the building on his regular schedule, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings and Friday 8 am - 4 pm.

Rick and Boniface’s presence in the building allows us to maintain the security of the property and keep the functions of the parish office going.

The Rector is working from home and in the Church at least on Sundays. He is in close working contact with the office, sexton, churchwardens and vestry; and is also available for parishioners by phone and email.

We will advise you of any changes.


Communications

We want to be sure we keep in touch with you and that you can keep in touch with each other as our movements have become quite limited by the recommendations and restrictions that have been put in place.

You will continue to hear from the Rector via email; not necessarily daily, as he does not want to overwhelm your in boxes, but regularly. He is posting daily on Facebook and Instagram.

Link to Facebook here
Look at Instagram here or find us @saintignatiusnyc

The web site has been updated with the most recent information and will continue to be updated regularly (daily if need be). Please remember to refresh your browser to see the latest versions of web pages.

We also want you to be able to keep in touch with each other. Therefore, if you are a member of the parish in good standing and do not have a Parish Directory, email the Rector and he will send you one.


Pastoral Care

Pastoral care as we have come to know it, with the opportunity for in person visits and meetings, is one of the casualties of the present moment. If you are sick or in need, please do not hesitate to let us know as soon as possible so we can offer the best support we can. Right now no one can visit hospitals and nursing facilities and we can not make home visits.

At the same time we do not want people in need to feel isolated or be unable to receive what help we can give. The clergy are happy to speak with you by phone or even FaceTime (or Skype, etc.) and keep in touch via email.

We have been asked starting today to keep our movements and interactions to a minimum. Those over seventy are being asked to be particularly careful and wear masks. Stores like Westside Market have designated 7-8 AM every day as shopping hours for seniors. If you cannot or should not go out, the Leopards are on the prowl, ready to assist those quarantined at home or unable to go out by dropping groceries and other necessary supplies at their doors, current restriction permitting.  They are also looking for vigorous new Leopards to assist in this and future endeavours.

If you need help or want to volunteer to help, you can contact or here.

We are also creating a parish telephone tree, whereby one parishioner will call three others, and those three will each call three others, and so on.  This will provide an intentional way of checking in with each other, passing on parish and other news, lifting each other’s spirits, and making sure we are all okay.  We suggest that calls be made once a week on a scheduled day.  We will provide you with an updated parish directory. You will be hearing more in the coming days.

Email or to get started.


The Spiritual Life and Christian Formation

Holly Hughes has initiated a Daily Office e-mail, for which each day one assigned parishioner will offer a brief reflection inspired by their choice of one or more of the lectionary readings for the day.  We expect this to be launched today!  You can sign up to write for a day, or to just lurk and read the daily missives. Contact

The Rector is posting daily reflections on the parish Instagram (@saintignatiusnyc).

If you want some reading and reflection, check out our Sermon Archive. You will find our sermons here

Stephen Morris is continuing his Wednesday morning Bible Study, which is now meeting live on Zoom from 11 AM to noon EDT; the sessions are being recorded for later viewing as well.  He is making his way through the Gospel according to St Mark, and is currently on Chapter 15.  If you have not already downloaded ZOOM when you click on the link, it will prompt you to download it.:

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/644352898?pwd=a25Na0E0VTVUZVlKWXlmYzRtbnpnZz09
Meeting ID: 644 352 898
Password: 091418


Other on-line resources:

Morning and Evening Prayer from the Mission of St Clare, complete with hymns
If you don’t have a Book of Common Prayer at home, here is a free pdf
Check the Episcopal News Service for information concerning sermons from the Presiding Bishop

These are just a few of the online resources available to you and we welcome suggestions that you have found to pass along.


Community Events

Over the last year or so, we have been holding regular community gatherings in restaurants and peoples’ homes in order to deepen our fellowship. These are, of course, suspended for the moment.


How you can support the continued work of your community

Even though we are not seeing each other in person, the clergy, staff, and churchwardens and vestry are hard at work ensuring that we remain here for you, maintaining the property, producing worship, and keeping the place going in all the ways I have described above. We can not do this without your financial support. If you have made a pledge for 2020, please continue to make your regular payments. If you have not pledged, please consider making one.  We have made it easy to make your contributions.

The support you have been showing for this, your own community is essential in these uncertain times. We are grateful that many of you have found PayPal an easy and efficient way to pay your pledge or make an offering to the church. It is, in fact, the most efficient way to make a donation at this time. PayPal, is accessed by clicking the Donate button on the front page of our web site or directly here.

However long our current situation persists, we are committed to meeting the needs of our community and those of the world with our liturgical offerings, Christian formation and pastoral care, and the critical work of our Soup Kitchen.

Please contact churchwarden or stewardship chairman,


We are grateful to all of you who give of your time, talent, and treasure to keep the church operating.