Pastoral Letter for Christmas Worship, 2020

Dear Transfiguration Parish Family and many Friends,

After prayerful discernment, we are amending our normal Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and 12th Night Epiphany worship schedule.  Given extensive data from Eagle County Public Health, Vail Health and the State of Colorado, coupled with clear guidance from the Office of the Bishop and ECOT’s Vestry Manual governing our congregational life, our holiday worship will blend in-person, livestream and video archived services.  The compelling evidence of significant viral community spread precludes us from worshipping indoors, so our in-person opportunities will take place out-of-doors.  Those Episcopalian jokes about the “frozen chosen” may now come true!  We understand Governor Polis’ recent declaration designating houses of worship as essential entities and appreciate the First Amendment protections the recent Supreme Court decision recognized in the Colorado church decision.  But, to paraphrase the Apostle Paul, while all things may be constitutionally lawful for us, not all things are helpful.  Paul’s admonition to refrain from exercising personal rights as believers to protect our fellow Christians is apostolic wisdom we take to heart now.  We look forward to providing the most poignant and most celebrative Christmas worship we can muster with God’s Grace.  The first Christmas featured no pageants, no candlelit churches, and no special music other than the angelic hosts!  We return together to a more intimate, more family-based holiday around home, hearth, table and tree.  Jesus will be reborn once again in the most important manger now….the manger of our own hearts.  Thank you for your support, your prayers and your active participation this Christmastide.  We look forward to serving you!  Here’s our schedule:

 

            Christmas Lessons and Carols, the Weekend Before Christmas, and any time after that

A festive video Christmas Lessons and Carols worship featuring our clergy and chaplain team together with our wonderful musicians!

 

1:30 PM Thursday, December 24th, Christmas Eve Drive-In Worship

Join us at the Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Community Center in-person for a taste of Christmas!  You bring the vehicles, cold weather clothes or car comforts, and hot chocolate while we take care of the rest!  This worship gathering will be more brief than our usual pageant while retaining the safety protocols (masks and physical distance) we enacted for in-person worship this summer and fall.  Outdoor Christmas blessings for all!!

 

4:30 PM Thursday, December 24th Christmas Eve Livestream Christmas Worship from the Chapel at Beaver Creek

Please join us virtually for this festive Christmas worship from the beautifully appointed Beaver Creek Interfaith Chapel!  This celebration will be recorded and posted on ECOT’s YouTube channel as soon as practical.

 

10:00 AM Friday, December 25th Christmas Day Livestream Christmas Worship from the Vail Interfaith Chapel

Please join us virtually for this longstanding Transfiguration tradition, enjoying a beautiful Christmas morning celebration from a beautiful Vail Interfaith Chapel.  This worship will also be recorded and uploaded as soon as practical.

 

8:00 AM Sunday, December 27th The First Sunday of Christmas Livestream Worship from the Vail Interfaith Chapel

 

8:00 AM Sunday, January 3rd The Second Sunday of Christmas Livestream Worship from the Vail Interfaith Chapel

 

Wednesday, January 6th The Feast of the Epiphany or 12th Night, Time TBA Afternoon Drive-In Worship at the Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Community Center.  More on 12th Night Afternoon later!

 

Many other wonderful Christmastide worship resources, together with Father Brooks’ daily devotional through Christmastide and Epiphanytide and Mother Emily’s warm Compline daily Facebook Live, await your exploration of our website.  May God bless us, every one!

 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

 

The Reverend Stuart Brooks Keith III, Rector and Senior Pastor

The Reverend Emily Lukanich, Vicar

The Reverend Michael Williams, Parish Deacon

Jayme Rinn, Senior Warden

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