March 13, 2020
A message from Bishop Cathleen Bascom regarding the unfolding Coronavirus
I write this knowing that the world around is changing not hour-by-hour but minute-by-minute, as we all seek to keep people safe in the face of the novel coronavirus. Our connection with one another across the Diocese of Kansas will remain a constant as we navigate this situation.
We are people of faith: We know that God is with us in all our challenges. When one reads about the lesser saints portrayed in Lesser Feasts and Fasts, we often see people of God who act with both courage and wisdom in times of pandemic. The relationship with God we have in Christ anchors us amid waves of fear. We know that the Risen One is with us in all things.
I invite you to pray. Pray for those who are ill. Pray for those who are caring for them. Pray for those who are vulnerable. Pray for those who are frightened. Pray for those suffering because of displacement.
We are people who value both community and safety: From its conception Christianity has had community at its core; it has had communal worship at its core. We do not want to cease being a worshipping, faith community in the face of Covid-19 or other diseases or disasters. At the same time, we honor that each of us is holy, made in the image of God, and we need to be safe. We will act to limit the spread of this disease out of our love for God and one another.
On March 12, I met by video call with many of the rectors and vicars who lead the churches of this diocese. In addition to the basic measures health officials call for â wash your hands thoroughly and often; cover your mouth as you cough or sneeze; seek medical attention if you have a cough, fever or shortness of breath â we discussed additional protections we can take in our churches.
1. I have asked that all clergy in charge of congregations meet with lay leaders immediately to discern the best way of worship in their particular context at this time. Between now and Easter Sunday, Morning Prayer, Holy Eucharist, Communion in the Absence of a Priest and the decision not to hold services for worship are all acceptable. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has clearly communicated that virtual worship is acceptable in these special circumstances.
***PLEASE NOTE: Some people have asked whether a message sent out today, noting the cancellation of churchwide meetings scheduled by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (the Episcopal Church offices), refers to church services. It does not. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has given bishops permission to cancel services in their dioceses, if warranted. As just stated, I am leaving that decision up to clergy in charge of congregations in conjunction with their lay leaders.
2. I have asked leaders to daily check the Kansas Department of Health and Environmentâs website for updates on the realities of the virus in our state: http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/index.htm
3. Grace Cathedral will worship using Morning Prayer Rite II at 10:30 a.m. beginning this Sunday. It will be available on Facebook through this link: https://www.facebook.com/gracecathedraltopeka. If anyone in the diocese cannot be in church, you can pray Morning Prayer along with us at 10:30 a.m. Sundays, or later at your convenience. Messages from me, either in person or through the dean or other staff, will be shared during those services.
(Note: If you do not have a Facebook account, you still can watch any stream on Facebook Live. When asked to sign in, click ânot nowâ where indicated, then scroll down the page until you find the live stream â it will be in the section labeled âPosts.â)
4. In all worship and gatherings, please refrain from greeting one another by touching of any kind, either during the Peace, or before or after services. This includes clergy offering a blessing at the altar rail and handshakes as worshippers enter or leave the church.
5. For those who choose Holy Eucharist:
a. I am directing that both use of the common cup and intinction be suspended for now. Communion will be given only with bread â with a reminder that receiving communion in one kind only is a full communion.
b. Priests will consecrate a small amount of wine in a chalice during the service, which afterward will be reverently returned to the earth either directly or through a piscina in the sacristy.
c. Clergy, Eucharistic ministers, acolytes and anyone else handling communion elements should wash their hands (or use hand sanitizer) immediately before distributing communion and again afterward.
d. Please make sure to use antiseptic solutions or wipes to cleanse the altar rail after every service.
e. Offering plates are not to be passed but are to be available where worshippers can place their offering.
6. I strongly suggest that food service of any kind be suspended through Lent, with the exception of community feeding programs and college houses â places where the food is more sustenance than fellowship. This includes refreshments at coffee hour, potlucks, etc. Consider this a Lenten fast for the sake of others.
7. We ask that parishes be especially vigilant about any in the community who may be ill or vulnerable. We urge anyone with symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath to stay home, rest, and seek medical attention. We will continue to check in with our people to assure them of Christâs love and care.
Other helpful links for churches regarding coronavirus
Resources from the Episcopal Church: https://episcopalchurch.org/concerning-covid19
Resources from Episcopal Relief & Development: https://www.episcopalrelief.org/what-we-do/us-disaster-program/faith-based-response-to-epidemics/
Resources from Forward Movement on prayer and worship at home: https://news.forwardmovement.org/2020/03/forward-movement-offers-resources-for-prayer-and-worship-at-home/
Resources from the Episcopal Church Foundation: https://www.ecfvp.org/blogs/3763/covid-19-resources
Website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Website of the World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
Some churches may find it helpful to live stream worship services for those who are not able to attend church. Some may need help in getting started, and others are expanding their capabilities.
In each case, you must be certain that music you broadcast is free from copyright restrictions, or that you have a license to use copyrighted material. Just because something is in the Hymnal 1982 does not mean it can be broadcast without a separate license.
Here are some resources that can help:
ï¿½ How to livestream your church service on Facebook Live in 4 easy steps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhnR0hahkD0&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1tfnxVTANXmgs_5etpOx-XL8zbqxSI-jSOdtgOb4s47J41piUfGW6MbS4&app=desktop
ï¿½ List of hymns that are in the public domain (no copyright restrictions): http://www.hymnsuntogod.org/Hymns-PD/ZZ-CompletePDHymnList.html
ï¿½ OneLicense is offering a free podcast/streaming license until April 15 to new customers or those with print-only accounts: and use code âCRVS20â
Campus ministry activities are cancelled
All of the on-campus ministry programs sponsored by the diocese have been cancelled until further notice.
In addition to the Canterbury Houses in Lawrence and at K-State, this includes:
ï¿½ Emporia State Canterbury program at St. Andrewâs
ï¿½ Word@Washburn, Topeka
ï¿½ Lectionary Lean-in at Baker, Baldwin
ï¿½ Donuts and Discussion at Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence
ï¿½ Blessings-on-the-Go, KU, Lawrence
Upcoming youth events
>> Only four spots remain for Episcopal Youth Event; firm deadline is March 13
The Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) involves 1,500 people (high school students, their adult mentors and bishops from around the church) who all stay on a college campus and learn, laugh and serve.
EYE20 programs focus on helping develop leadership skills, spiritual practices and early stages of vocational discernment. The theme for EYE20 is âUnite! ï¿½Unï¿½monos!â
EYE20 will take place at the University of Maryland in College Park, July 7-11. Those attending from this diocese will be flying as a group from Kansas City to Washington, D.C. Scholarships are available to cover airfare if you need it. We ask participants to pay the $400 registration fee, which includes lodging, most meals and a t-shirt. Payment plans are available when you sign-up, but you must be paid in full by the start of the event.
Participants must have turned 15 and be no older than 19 by the start of the event. Current freshman who are 14 will have an opportunity to attend EYE2023, since the Episcopal Youth Event is on a three-year cycle.
>> Episcopal Summer Mega Camp registration now is open
ï¿½ Learn more about camp in our new Episcopal Camp Parent Handbook (PDF): https://edokyouth.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/episcopalparenthandbook.pdf
ï¿½ Register online: https://tinyurl.com/EDOKCamp20
New this year:
1. Jones Lodge will be completely renovated
2. There will be a new amphitheater in front of Ritchie Lodge
3. All cabins and yurts will be air conditioned
4. Payment plans â see the Youth website for instructions: https://edokyouth.wordpress.com/camp/
ï¿½ When: Sunday, May 31, 2:30 p.m. to Saturday, June 6, 11 a.m.
ï¿½ Where: Camp Wood YMCA, Elmdale, Kansas
ï¿½ Who: Students in grades 3-12 for the 2019-20 school year (you must have finished third grade to attend). Camp is not restricted to Episcopalians or regular churchgoers. All are welcome, so feel free to invite friends and family.
ï¿½ Cost: $465 through April 1. There is a $50 non-refundable deposit required at the time of registration, and the remainder is due by Friday, May 8.
ï¿½ New this year ... payment plans! You can divide your camp registration fee into equal payments each month until camp begins.
ï¿½ Those needing scholarships should register for camp by April 1. The diocese has 20 scholarships of $150 available for those with extreme financial need. You can apply for scholarships on the registration form. Information about your household income will be required. Scholarships are awarded by a committee. Your parish should also be able to provide some scholarship money.
>> Middle school retreat registration now is open
This is a weekend retreat just for middle school students and will be planned by the youth commission this spring. Specifics will be announced as the event gets closer, but there will be yummy food, good friends, and time to sing, hang-out and be in Christian community together.
ï¿½ : May 1-3,
ï¿½ : St. Thomas the Apostle, Overland Park
ï¿½ : Grades 6-8
ï¿½ : $55 ($70 after April 17)
2020-2021 campus peer ministry application now is available
If you are passionate about deepening your own faith and taking a leadership role in cultivating the faith of students on campus, you are invited to consider becoming a peer minister in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas.
Applications for Fall 2020 now are open and are due by July 15. Apply online at https://edok.formstack.com/forms/peerminapp
Special Needs Training to be offered for Sunday School teachers and youth group leaders
ï¿½ Saturday, April 25, 1:30â4:30 p.m., at Camp Wood YMCA, near Elmdale
ï¿½ Free to all members of the diocese
ï¿½ Led by Kat Witt, resource specialist at Camp Wood YMCA
This training will focus on how to be more intentionally inclusive in your ministry areas and how to manage some undesirable behaviors that you might be seeing from some of your participants.
Participants will explore physical, social and functional inclusion, and looking for simple ways to adapt programs and remove barriers for individuals to participate more fully. The behavior management training will highlight both âin the momentâ strategies of de-escalation, as well as relational strategies to help with undesirable behaviors.
The tools from this training will help teachers and leaders better serve all their children and youth â both those with and those without special needs. Interactive activities, lecture, resource toolbox and role play practice of strategies will all be a part of this training.
Sign-up online at https://tinyurl.com/EDOKSNW20
The Episcopal Church urges all members to support the 2020 U.S. Census
From March 12-20, residents across the United States will receive by mail information on how to respond to the 2020 U.S. Census online, by phone or by mail.
The Episcopal Church, through its Office of Government Relations, is encouraging all Episcopalians to participate in the census, as well as in all local and national elections. The Episcopal Church is an official census partner.
The Government Relations Office on Feb. 20 said, âThe census is a self-portrait of the United States. The U.S. Constitution requires the federal government count everyone living in the country every 10 years. The tally must include people of all ages, races and ethnic groups; all citizens and non-citizens. Every household should complete a census form by April 1.â
More information is on the census website, https://2020census.gov/en.html.
Valinda Jackson, whose husband the Rev. Les Jackson is rector of Trinity, El Dorado and St. Matthewâs, Newton, is recovering in the hospital from injuries sustained in a car accident Monday evening. She has broken bones and sprained joints, so please keep her in your prayers as she recovers.
Anniversaries of ordinations
Congratulations go to these people as they celebrate the anniversaries of their ordination in the next two weeks:
March 15: The Rev. Charles Kerschen, Christ Church, Kingman, Diocese of Western Kansas (12 years)
March 25: Deacon Barbara Adam, retired (27 years)
Stay in touch with the diocese on social media
You can find news, features and updates from the diocese on social media. Weâre on Facebook â EpiscopalDioceseofKansas (https://www.facebook.com/EpiscopalDioceseofKansas), Twitter â @EpiscoKs and Instagram â @EpiscoKs.
You can find diocesan youth and campus ministries on Instagram, too:
Canterbury House of Lawrence: @canterburylfk
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