A Pastoral Letter From the Rector: October 7, 2020

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we navigate this difficult time, I felt it was important to update you all on what is going on with service hours and locations. Since our last in-person, indoors service on Wednesday, March 11 we have tried a number of different ways to conduct service. We started a YouTube video on Easter with music, readings and a homily/meditation. We then combined YouTube videos with Morning Prayer on Zoom. Since Sunday August 9th, each week we have been putting out a YouTube video Eucharist with music and holding outdoor “spiritual” Eucharist in person every Sunday at 5:00 on the lawn in front of the Walden Street entrance. All along Priscilla has been holding KFC (Kids for Christ) Sunday School every Sunday morning at 9:00 on Zoom. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in helping make these services happen.

I know that for some of you these offerings have not been “enough”, or you have not participated for your own reasons, while others have found them to be good alternatives in a tough situation. On a personal note, I have also struggled with what “alternative” should and can be while respecting the spiritual, health and safety needs of the members of this wonderful parish.

As we get deeper into the Fall and the sun sets earlier and earlier and the crisp autumn air takes hold, we need to look at making some changes to the time of our Sunday outdoor service. Beginning Sunday, October 18th we will be holding our outdoor service at 10:00 in the morning. Hopefully this time change will both feel more like what some of you are used to and miss while allowing others to participate for whom 5:00 in the afternoon has been problematic. As a side note - if you have not attended an outdoor service, give it a try. It feels safe while providing a nice worship experience and some fellowship at the same time for members both younger and older.

Our plan is to continue meeting outside at 10:00 on Sunday mornings until the live streaming equipment is fully installed in the sanctuary. At that point we will begin in-person (with limited numbers) services in the main sanctuary as well as providing live streamed services online and recorded options. We will not be meeting inside until this is possible so that those who cannot or choose not to attend in person will not be left without a way to participate in worship.

This is a very new and unnerving place we find ourselves in and we are doing the best that we can under the circumstances and appreciate your patience and spirit of generosity. Please know that as we move forward, as always, you are in my prayers, as I hope that I am in yours.


The Rev. Robert C. Hooper III, Rector

The Reverend Robert C. Hooper III

The Rev’d Robert C. Hooper III (“Bob,” please) and his wife Priscilla married in 1988 and have three children and two Labrador retrievers, "Lilly" and "Theo." Bob received a B.S. in business/marketing from New England College in 1987 and a M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1995. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1996 after seven years in the brokerage and banking industry in New York. He served parishes in both Northern Virginia and suburban Boston before coming to St. James’s in 2002 to serve as rector.