What an extraordinary spring we have had. Of course, the highlight was Holy Week and Easter. Mark Bebensee, our organist, and members of the Traditional Service Choir, along with members of the Charleston Symphony led us through one of the most moving Good Friday services in recent memory. Then, on Easter, with the choir reseated in the chancel rather than the balcony and joined by a brass quartet, the Historic Church reverberated with the joyous sounds of Easter.
Easter at Boone Hall surpassed its typical glory. Having to forego the normal set-up with the big tent and a few thousand chairs we instead brought blankets and chairs, set up on the lawn, and rejoiced in both Christ’s resurrection and the joy of seeing one another for the first time in a year. I have heard from hundreds of you that you preferred this new seating arrangement. Based on the significant response I expect we will explore this seating arrangement for next year.
Thanks be to God!
Following is a brief update on two items.
First, and importantly, our COVID protocols remain in place. Meaning that masks and social distancing are required for all indoor gatherings on the parish grounds. Masks and hand sanitizer continue to be available at the entrance to all of our buildings.
Having stated that I am pleased to let you know that the vestry and I, in consultation with our local medical professionals, have begun discussions about ending the mandated protocols. Based on the timeline of our Governor’s expansion of the vaccine to all South Carolinians and the time necessary to complete the full vaccination process we anticipate the lifting of these restrictions sometime in June (of course, you may if you so desire to continue wearing your mask indoors). I will keep you updated as we move forward.
My Jerusalem :: Local Outreach
Two things to note. First, progress continues to be made on the house for Greta. We now have the building plans, drainage plans, and site survey in hand. The permit will be filed this week (and may have been as I write this). The permitting process takes 4-6 weeks and once that is complete, we will be able to start construction.
Secondly, and most pleasingly, I’ve received the recommendations of our My Jerusalem task force outlining local mission projects we can engage through our Life Groups and/or individually. You may remember my sermon from last summer announcing my intention to turn our corporate attention to local needs. Our first action has been to undertake the necessary steps (including raising almost $300,000) to rebuild the home for Greta. Then, at my request, Chris Brooks organized an exploratory/discernment team to do a community-wide need assessment. They have spent the better part of these past 9 months on a deep dive into our community seeking to discover the unmet needs of our neighbors. I met with Chris and the task force yesterday to receive their report and I expect a finalized proposal to be in my hands imminently. Please be on the lookout for an email from me next week about this matter.
We do covet your prayers as we seek to discern the Lord’s will for our common life. Please be assured that our prayers for you continue.
In His grip,
Steve & Jacqui