The COVID Stage tracker for Austin/Travis County indicates that we have been in Stage 3 for almost a month, and we have plateaued right in the middle of Stage 3. For PCLT, this means that we can resume sporadic outdoor gatherings on our campus, as we did late last summer and early fall. You are encouraged to attend these gatherings to see each other and share some fellowship, masked and distanced of course! I know many have already been vaccinated, but some have not, and it is still best practice to wear masks and keep an appropriate distance when out in public, especially in gatherings of more than just a few.
In light of the new freedom to gather outdoors, we are planning opportunities to gather on the church grounds for Holy Week and Easter!
On Saturday, March 27, between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., you are invited to “drive through” at the church and pick up a small bag of items to help you celebrate Holy Week. Just drive through the portico by the front entrance of the church; members of the Worship Committee will be there to hand those out and visit with you for a few minutes. Included with the items will be a Palm frond for you to have at home when we celebrate Palm Sunday on March 28, during our regular online worship.
Maundy Thursday and Good Friday: We will worship online with our new friends from congregations in New Jersey, Ohio, and Maryland (as we did after Christmas). The Holy Week Service will be posted online by 3 p.m. Thursday, April 1. It will be one service of worship with two parts. The first part will be focused on Communion and Maundy Thursday. The second part will focus on the Seven Last Words from the Cross, with music and reflections. You can experience the worship service all at once, or you can watch the first part on Thursday, and come back to the second part on Friday.
On Easter Sunday, April 4, you are invited to come to the church parking lot at 10:00 a.m. The wooden Cross will be in the median, and we will take turns Flowering the Cross! Stay and visit for a bit, masked and distanced. Then, head home and watch the Easter Worship service at 11:00 a.m., featuring special music! Wear your favorite Easter outfit, and let’s celebrate with joy!
I look forward to seeing you face-to-face during this week of celebrations. Look for more opportunities to gather in the days ahead!