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For the latest at St. Anne’s: November 2020 Newsletter

November 25, 2020

Dear Parish,

         The Wardens, Re-Gathering Team Chair, and Priest have made a difficult decision to suspend in-person worship effective November 29th. Please know that virtual worship will continue online via our web site, www.stannes-billerica.org , St. Anne’s Facebook page, and YouTube. Our services may also be viewed on Billerica access television (BATV) as well as their web site www.batvinc.org.

         This decision was not made without much thought, love, and considerable and careful deliberation. It was a long week of prayerful discussion about what is best for the overall congregation, both in terms of our mental and our physical health. We finally decided we needed to focus on the message sent by the Bishops who expressed “grave concern and utmost caution” and urged us “in the strongest possible terms to suspend in-person, indoor worship“.  We received these words from the Dioceses of Massachusetts AND Western Massachusetts in an email sent to us last Thursday November 19. While they did leave a window open for us to continue to worship in person, their window was not wide open.

         The maximum limit for indoor gatherings is 25 people. This past Sunday (11/22), we were close to that maximum allowable occupancy. With the Christmas season just around the corner, our decision was much more stressful. On the one hand, how could we possibly turn away the 26th or 27th attendee? On the other, how can we take away what is precious and meaningful to all of us?

         Cases of Coronavirus infections have steadily risen to levels that surpass the spring surge. Billerica and surrounding communities are experiencing a similar increase. We struggled with continuing to hold in-person worship with an ever-increasing risk of infection. We are concerned about the risk of all our parishioners catching the virus while at church, especially those most vulnerable. We do not want any of you to get sick.

         We also want to find a way to bridge the gap of not meeting to worship in person by making the virtual worship and fellowship more easily accessible to anyone who has trouble accessing it. If you need help with viewing the service online, please reach out to St. Anne’s “help desk” consisting of our Wardens, Ed Giroux or Mike Hopkins, Linda Kusnierz, Mother Jennifer, or anyone else who wishes to help with this for assistance. We also need ideas from you on how to maintain our sense of parish fellowship in other ways, keeping in mind the restrictions that this pandemic has caused us to abide by.

         This was a decision that none of us wanted to make. It is so difficult to take away community worship that we all find comfort in. Although painful we feel it is best for the care of our parish family to accept the thoughtful urging of the Diocese and find other ways to be faithful during these unique and challenging times.

         Please join us in prayer that this chapter in the story that is St. Anne’s will be a short one with the ending we all want; We pray that we can be together again as a parish family very, very soon.

Faithfully,

Ed Giroux       Warden

Mike Hopkins      Warden

Linda Kusnierz       Re-Gathering Chair 

Jennifer Beal+       Priest-in-charge

Welcome to St. Anne’s:

Please watch our virtual services and other videos below.
You can find other videos from the Videos sub-links off the main menu.

Here is the November 29, 2020 service:

Here is the Diocesan weekly Advent lesson:

Here is the Advent hymn sing:

Please click the name of the song below for the words:

Lo! He comes, with clouds descending

O come, O come, Emmanuel

On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry

Creator of the stars of night

Come, thou long-expected Jesus

Prepare the way, O Zion

Here is the November 22, 2020 service:

Here is the November 15, 2020 service:

Here is the November 8, 2020 service:

Our Mission Statement:

St. Anne’s seeks to be led by the spirit to understand God’s purpose for the world with our mission being to respond through Christ in worship, education, fellowship and service. Amen.