Letter from Bishops Regarding Worship and Church Buildings

April 8, 2020
 
Dear People of the Diocese of Virginia,
During this Holy Week, our fast from public, in-person worship continues. On Easter Day, we will celebrate the joy of our Lord's resurrection with worship and song, surrounded by the wonders of God's creation, each from our different places. We make this sacrifice for the sake of others, particularly the most vulnerable among us.
After Easter Day, beginning on Easter Monday, April 13, a new sacrifice will be required of us. In light of Governor Northam's executive order, and in the face of news that the coronavirus has not yet peaked in Virginia, we need to stay home. To this end, your bishops have determined, in consultation with the Standing Committee, that after Easter Day, clergy and lay leaders may no longer live-stream or record services from church buildings. As followers of the crucified and risen Lord, we care about others. We care about our communities, both local and global, and so we make sacrifices for their well-being. We care as well for our clergy and other leaders and want them to stay healthy so that they can offer leadership and support to congregations until the Governor's order is lifted. We make this additional sacrifice on behalf of God's people, particularly the most vulnerable. Because we do it for others, it is an act of love, and our sacrifices done in love draw us close to the heart of God.
Many clergy asked questions and received answers about this new requirement during the clergy webinars this week. On our diocesan website, you will find a  full transcript of Bishop Goff's instructions and the Q and A. Most of your questions will be answered there.
As we walk the way of the cross this week, we take up our cross and follow Jesus. God bless the sacrifices we make, that they may be returned to us in God's time as gifts of hope. God bless us all as we walk the way of love in these changed and changing times.
 
Faithfully yours,
  
   
The Rt. Rev. Susan Goff  
The Rt. Rev.  Jennifer Brooke-Davidson
Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority Assistant Bishop