So, now we know a new schedule for the fall, and we have learned a little bit about how to get tickets for in-person worship services. But how will we care for each other when we gather in-person? This is where our covenant of care comes into the picture.
If you remember your Bible stories, you might remember that there are several covenants that God makes at different times. The first covenant is with Noah, and it reflects God’s commitment to the care of creation after the flood. God also makes a covenant with Abraham, Moses, David, and the new covenant made in Christ Jesus. Each covenant reflects God’s commitment to God’s creation in different ways and with different people. They reflect God’s creative work in creation and tell the story of God’s redeeming grace being active amongst human beings.
A covenant is an agreement, in these cases between God and humanity, that reflects a binding care for another. Perhaps the one that is most familiar to us is that of marriage. While the state has formalized marriage into a contract of sorts, the Christian liturgy is the making of a covenant between two people to care for each other.
In a smilier fashion, we are asked to make a covenant with the whole community each time we step foot onto the grounds of parish. We are asked to abide by the Covenant of Care in order to love our sisters and brothers in Christ.
When we come to Church of the Epiphany, we are all agreeing to:
- Wearing a clean mask over my mouth and nose while inside church buildings
- Maintaining six feet distancing from people not of my own household
- Following instructions provided by volunteer ushers and greeters
- If I have had a cough, muscle pain, shortness of breath, diarrhea, rash, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, red-eye, weakness, bruising or bleeding, new joint pain that does not go away, severe headache, lack of a sense of smell or sense of taste, or if I have been in contact with someone who was confirmed to have COVID-19, I will stay at home for at least 14 days and seek appropriate medical care.
- If I or a member of my household tests positive for COVID-19, my household agrees to inform the rector as soon as possible so others may be alerted whilst protecting the confidentiality and identity of the person who tested positive.
When we follow the Covenant of Care, we are actively caring for, protecting, and loving our neighbors. We are showing our commitment to God’s creative works, and we are honoring our sisters and brothers in Christ. Our Covenant of Care is one way that we reflect God’s love back to each other and to the world.