Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am reaching out to you in response to the recent statement by state and local officials regarding the lifting of the mask mandate. As I have expressed to you previously, I am grateful for your creativity and dedication to your ministry and acknowledge the challenges that this has presented. I know that many of you are deep into your stewardship campaigns as well as planning for the upcoming season of Advent and Christmas. These are interesting times for sure, and we remain steadfast in our support of one another.
Although masks will no longer be required, I encourage you to continue to use your discretion in making decisions that protect the health and safety of those in your communities. Therefore, if you or members of your congregations wish to continue to wear a mask, establish an environment that creates a safe place for this decision to be exercised. Be especially mindful of the elderly, immunocompromised and our children.
Our communion protocols will remain the same. The Eucharist will be distributed in one kind only. This includes intinction. You are welcome to administer the host by hand; but again, have a few cups available if someone wishes to receive in that fashion. Gatherings such as coffee hour can resume, and healing services are permitted. Of course, if cases rise, we will have to revisit our COVID-19 protocols.
I look forward to gathering with you all next week at Convention. I ask for your prayers and you will be in mine.
The Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr.
Bishop of Louisiana