St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church
Grand Island, New York

A Letter From Fr. Nick Regarding Updated COVID Precautions

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." – James 1:12

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

No journey in life is a straight road and, if nothing else, our experience of this pandemic has proven this point. Despite the respite we have experienced during the summer, rising numbers of infections and the emergence of the much more contagious delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 have caused familiar precautions to return in many facets of our lives. One of these precautions is the wearing of masks, even by vaccinated individuals, during indoor public gatherings. Bishop Sean and the Presiding Bishop have also released letters in recent days reminding us that it is the calling of the entire Body of Christ to be always mindful of the sick and vulnerable in our midst. With the new variants of the virus showing severe effects in younger people and the vaccine being approved only for those over 12, masks are the only precaution that we can use to protect the young members of our church. Therefore, beginning this Sunday, September 5, masks will again be required for all indoor gatherings.

While it can be a bit discouraging to realize that we are not yet done with pandemic life, we are still much farther ahead than we were little more than a year ago. We are still able to meet in-person, share the sacraments, and worship the Lord together. Coffee hours will continue for those who are comfortable with that level of risk. I do not intend for the obstacles of COVID-19 to prevent us from the mission and activities to which we are called as a parish community, but we will need to continue to adapt as the situation of our world changes. We have done amazing things as a community throughout this pandemic, and I know that we will press on to follow God no matter what happens in the world around us.

If you have any questions about the new requirements or the science regarding vaccines and the virus, please feel free to contact me at any time.

To the greater glory of God,

The Rev’d Nicholas Evancho, SOSc