Please read the full statement below from your clergy and vestry.
Dearly beloved in Christ,
As people of the Resurrection, we proclaim with our lips and in our lives that Christ has trampled down death by death and given life to those in the tomb. Bishop Martin S. Field has called for the closure of all church buildings for an unstated period, both for worship and meetings. What follows is in conformity with his full and amended statement, which is more detailed than the one some of you may have read on Facebook. We will seek to live within that guideline without allowing fear to crush the hope that is in us. To that end, we, the Vestry and Clergy of Good Shepherd, commit our unceasing prayers for you. And ask that you commit to pray for us.
The following changes take place immediately and until further notice.
- Our building, is hereby closed to public worship and most activities until further notice. The clergy and staff will continue to be in the building at regular office hours, Tues-Fri, 9 am-5 pm. Call ahead to schedule appointments for counsel, prayer or the Sacraments in your home, 816-452-0745.
- Hospital visits are likely to be prohibited in the near future. Nursing home visits are now limited to end of life. Prayer is what we have to offer. Please help us do so by keeping us informed of health issues, 816-452-0745. The Blessed Sacrament shall always be available.
- Take Home Communion in Ziploc baggies of 4 consecrated wafers and 4 oz. glass jar with lid of consecrated wine will be available in the chapel (enter only through the red chapel door) 7:00 AM-7:00 PM beginning 3/25/20. Then take them home. Please indicate to us in writing the name, number and the service you most regularly attend and consume them prayerfully at that time you normally attend services. May be consumed during the Facebook Live. That information will be totaled and recorded in the Register of Church Services. We will bless the Sacrament regularly throughout the coming weeks: if you could return your washed jars with lids it would be helpful. I’ve only ordered 80 for now.
- Beginning Monday, March 23, we will broadcast regular Daily Office Services of Noonday Prayer Monday-Thursday at 12:00 PM; Compline at 8:00 PM. The Sunday 10:15 Eucharist, including a sermon, on Facebook Live. This is a private celebration of the clergy, not a public worship service. If you are not already on Facebook, we urge you to consider it for the present time. Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Kansas City, Missouri https://www.facebook.com/episcopalcogs is the group you want to “like.” We will try to keep you updated on the ever-changing situation as it pertains to this parish. Broad national or diocesan statements may be misleading, as they usually are summaries rather than complete policy statements.
- You are free to come to Church for devotions and prayer. The doors are open. The lights of the nave will remain on. Please be aware that others may be in the building with you—remember the social distancing suggestions of the medical profession. If you happen to be in possession of Clorox wipes, wipe down the back of the pew in front of you and the door handles before you leave.
- On Sat at 4:30 pm and Sundays at 8:00 and 10:15 am, the clergy will celebrate the Sacrament at the altar privately. You are free to remain in the building for your devotions if this occurs while you are present, but please understand that this is not a public service, and remember social distance rules.
- Plan on significant changes to Holy Week. What those are, precisely, we cannot say today. But the primary services will be held in conformity with the Prayer Book.
- Kim Snodgrass has prepared material for some form of Christian formation and education for families at home. https://www.diowestmo.org/formation/home-worship-resources.html Or go directly to the diocesan website home page, scroll down, click on the red box Home Worship Resources. Kim will also be sharing Christian formation and education on Facebook Live, so be watching.
Perfect love casts out fear. I John 4:18
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Formation at Home
March 22 – Lent IV: It’s a good time for a Lenten discipline check-in. This is not a time to give yourself or your family members a grade on how well you are doing in following whatever discipline you committed to at the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of preparation. We are preparing for the greatest Mystery of all: the Resurrection. I once heard in a sermon that your Lenten discipline should be leading you home – to the heart of God. Discuss or journal:
- What led you to choose to take on a Lenten discipline? Remember Jesus’ admonition not to make a great show of our alms-giving, our fasting, our prayer.
- When we do acts of faith and worship just to be seen doing acts of faith and worship, we are committing what the poet T. S. Eliot called “the greatest treason, to do the right thing for the wrong reason.” Check your heart. Have you taken on this exercise do deepen your spiritual journey?
- How is your Lenten discipline working for you? Is it leading you home? Is it teaching you something? Is it leading you to encounter God in a new way? Do you need to reexamine the discipline you’ve adopted and make an adjustment so that you can answer “yes” to these questions?