May 18, 2021
Dear clergy and wardens,
On June 11, 2020, the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio published a comprehensive set of protocols for return to in-person parish worship, church meetings, church school, youth groups, and other formation opportunities. In the nearly twelve months since, we have provided additional guidance as conditions changed. As the number of fully-vaccinated communicants increases, and having reviewed the recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Governor’s office, we are issuing new guidelines that replace all of the previous protocols and guidelines, effective Sunday, May 23, 2021.
Although the CDC guidelines allow fully-vaccinated persons to participate in many activities without masks, it is our Christian responsibility to care for “the least of these,” which includes those who are not yet vaccinated, children, others who are particularly vulnerable.
We will continue to monitor this ever-changing situation to ensure that our parishioners, visitors, and those who use our facilities do so in a safe and responsible way. Local church leaders should continue to make decisions that make sense for their congregation and community.
Emerging from the isolation and restrictions of this pandemic will present new challenges and require of each of us continued patience and thoughtful deliberation. These changes to our coronavirus protocols imply no expectation that congregations will implement them immediately. Rather, they outline what is possible moving forward and provide guidance in the decision-making required. As clergy and lay leaders, you will know what path and timing will most benefit your congregation. Please feel free to share this letter with your communicants, as you feel appropriate. The Guidelines will be posted on the Diocesan website at the end of the week.
If you have questions or seek assistance in any aspect of returning to in-person gathering, please do not hesitate to contact the Rev. Brad Purdom, me, or any member of the Bishop’s Staff.
The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.
Bishop of Ohio
Statement from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on deadly unrest in Colombia - [May 14, 2021]
We speak in solidarity with our brothers, sisters, and siblings in Colombia, and of the Episcopal Anglican Church in Colombia.
Jesus once said of his ministry, quoting the prophet Isaiah: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor; he has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty all who are oppressed and to proclaim the acceptable Year of the Lord.”
We who follow the way of Jesus — we who seek to be the Jesus Movement in our time — stand in solidarity with those who are protesting peacefully and who work and labor faithfully for justice and humane solutions to our problems.
Bishop Duque of Colombia said this: “Being baptized moves us in a prophetic spirit according to the teachings of Jesus the Christ, to put ourselves on the side of the oppressed and violated, to demand the peace and justice necessary for a dignified and harmonious life”
We pray and ask that all people of goodwill join hands and work together for the realization of peace, the establishment of justice and the way of reconciliation of love and life for all the people of Colombia. We stand with you in your struggle and pray God’s blessing and guidance on you and on the entire human family. Amen.
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church