Spring Greetings from the Chapel,
We hope this letter finds you and your loved ones well during this COVID-19 pandemic. Know that you have been in our thoughts and prayers. In these times, you may be uncertain about your summer plans. We too are uncertain, but here is what we know at this moment. The Vestry, meeting by zoom in early May, concluded that we will not open the Chapel for Sunday worship this summer.
Our reasons include
• The majority of our summer congregation is over the age of 60;
• We travel from many parts of the country;
• Our space is not conducive to safe, physical distancing;
• We don’t have the ability to properly sanitize between services; and
• We don’t know if, how, or when churches on the Cape will be allowed to gather for worship.
Although we can’t celebrate communion together, we would like to find ways to be in community together this summer. We hope to keep the patio and burial ground open throughout the summer; we may be able to plan small group gatherings on the patio, or be together electronically. We also hope that Tracey and Emily will be in residence for some portion of the summer (probably August) to offer pastoral presence. However, it’s too early to make specific plans.
Regardless of these uncertainties, we believe that it is of the utmost importance for the Chapel to continue our support of programs and services that benefit the yearround residents and seasonal workers on the Outer Cape. Over the last several years, our outreach grants have risen to around $35,000 annually. This year, we think the need is now, because the ongoing economic stress for Cape residents will clearly continue through the summer. We do not want to wait to distribute end-of-year grants. To that end, we have already disbursed $4,000 to the Lower Cape Outreach Council.
Now, more than ever before, our summer neighbors are counting on our support. Since we will have no summer “plate” contributions, please consider responding most generously to this appeal. The amount we normally give away is roughly equal to the entire plate collections for the summer! Thus, we invite you to make a generous contribution to the Chapel of St. James the Fisherman. Help us sustain our witness to the goodness of God and the good people of Wellfleet.
As the summer unfolds, please visit our website www.stjameschapelwellfleet.org and our facebook page www.facebook.com/st.james.chapel.wellfleet to see what, if any, small group activities get scheduled. On our website you will now find a donation form through which we can accept online donations, either ACH (direct transfer from your bank account to ours) or credit card—or you can use the enclosed white envelope as in the past. You may also return the attached information card with news of your summer plans, any prayer concerns, or just to let us know how you’re doing and if you’d like to be included in any summer activities. And, when you’re in the neighborhood, drive up the hill and say hello to the Chapel.
From the Collect for Guidance, we know that in God we live and move and have our being. No matter how far apart we are, God is big enough to hold us all in God’s love. May God hold us all until we are together again at the Chapel.
The Very Rev. Tracey Lind