"We Will Continue" Gatherings Postponed Due to Widespread COVID Surge
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In light of the COVID-19 Delta variant's ongoing surge, I am postponing the "We Will Continue" Gatherings scheduled to take place September 18 and 25, throughout the seven convocations of the Diocese. I have not made this decision lightly, and it comes with the full agreement of the Convocational Deans and diocesan staff involved in planning these events.
This decision is consistent with the practices we have all adopted during the pandemic, keeping love of God and our neighbor as our guide. While saddened to delay these gatherings, it is clearly the right choice at this time and for this particular event, in order to preserve the health and safety of participants and our broader community.
Postponing these gatherings until a better time is not an indication to halt every other diocesan or congregational meeting, event, and service, too. Many gatherings can and should continue, following the local protocols and diocesan guidelines already in place. We have all learned the steps we can take to reduce risks for the sake of ourselves, our churches, and our communities.
The title of our convocational Gatherings, “We Will Continue,” is inspired by the questions in the Baptismal Covenant. And regardless of this setback, we have continued and we are continuing even now to be the Church in this ongoing pandemic. I am so grateful for the steadfastness of clergy and laity, and for the many Spirit-led decisions made by our churches, schools, camps, and other ministries to continue to worship, minister, gather, go out, and reach out in ways that are true to the Way of Christ. I have been blessed and encouraged personally to witness your creativity as we continue to love and serve the Lord.
Delaying these gatherings, which were intended to bring us together as a diocesan family, is one more disappointment stacked atop many others. But as always, this moment is not a dead-end. It remains true that "nevertheless, the Kingdom has come near," and our Lord will open a new way for us. And so, our answer can still be - "Yes, we will continue."
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Bishop of West Texas