I am excited to let you know that a long awaited day has finally arrived. We’ve been praying and believing that this day would come. Last week Dallas County health officials announced that locally we have reached the “new normal” phase of the COVID 19 Pandemic. In many ways life feels more normal than it has in years and yet we have been changed by the last two years of disruption, isolation, and loss. Many of us are still searching for our own new normal, reconstructing habits and relationships in light of what we have experienced.
There are a few parts of our life together at Restoration that we need to move into our “new normal.” Starting on Sunday, May 15 we will return to sharing the common cup when we receive communion in our worship service. This is a beautiful depiction of our shared life and salvation that springs from the self-giving love of Jesus for his people. We will still have individually packaged, gluten-free communion elements for those who need and prefer them but we will invite the whole congregation to process forward and do one of three things:
- Take and eat the bread and then drink from the chalice of wine.
- Take the bread and then dip it in the chalice of wine and consume both.
- Take the packaged gluten-free elements and then consume them.
The common cup is vital part of Anglican worship that we want to see restored for the sake of Restoration. There are multiple studies on the risk of spreading illness due to partaking from a common cup and the risk is extremely low. We continue to encourage anyone who is symptomatic with any illness to join us online for worship instead of in person. If you have concerns about the common cup, please contact me. As always, our goal is that everyone be able to join in the feast that Jesus has prepared for us.
We will also return to passing the offering on basket on Sundays. We are grateful that almost all of those who consider Restoration their church home have set up regular online giving that allows for you to give consistently to the mission of the church. But we also want to return to the visual reminder of offering the fruit of our labor and the abundant blessings of God in worship. We will be able to receive cash and checks from those who prefer to give in that way and we will offer wooden tokens for online givers to drop in the basket as a way of incorporating their prearranged giving into our worship service.
Churches everywhere have experienced challenges through these years of uncertainty. We are grateful for the love and support of the Restoration community as we as church leaders have made difficult decisions. We are proud of that way that you have submitted to the needs of others out of love over the past few years. Restoration will continue to respond to public health needs as they arise in order to care for our community. And we are excited about the new growth we are seeing in Restoration. Let’s go find our “new normal” together.