May 3, 2020

Dear Clementines,

We miss you! We talked about you today!

We had a meeting of the Vestry today and an important part of the discussion was how to deal with the worldwide COVID crisis facing our parish here in New York. We all agreed that it was important to communicate with the people of St. Clement’s, and that’s the purpose of this letter. Here’s what’s going on:

  1. Sunday worship: John Fitzgerald continues to arrange for an online “virtual” meeting (in “real” time) of Clementines for a Morning Prayer service. Other parishes are doing virtual services via Facebook Live and Zoom. Those services offer a variety of experiences, including music and sermons, and if you’d like to explore, I’ll include a short list here: https://stascroton.wordpress.com
    note: (for 9:30 a.m. Morning Prayer via Zoom: the login is sent on Saturdays. Please email the Rector if you are not on the email list, via the website.)
  2. Food Pantry: It is open and Seth has been serving an increased number of people. It continues to be held every weekend of the month except for the first weekend. Seth and his volunteers prepare bags of groceries for pick-up at the door of the church so the Food Pantry clients don’t have to enter the building. Seth mentioned that currently there has been a lack of rice and pasta, and he’s trying to supplement by buying large bags of these items (formerly bought by restaurants) and repackaging them into smaller units for his clients.
  3. Vestry: We continue our monthly meetings (our next one is June 7th). We’ve been very occupied with financial projections. As you all know, the majority of our operating budget comes from theater income. Even if groups (like our congregation) are allowed to gather by this summer or fall, it’s unlikely that any theater production in New York will come together as easily and quickly. So in all honesty, I’m sorry to say that we expect our own theater income to be zero through the end of the year. This is one reason that we want to respectfully remind you that if you signed a pledge card for 2020, we are counting on your continued commitment of financial support during this time of extreme belt-tightening!
  4. Your feedback: Finally, and very importantly, I would like to ask for feedback from you. As our governor says, we’re all in this together, and we need to do our best to look out for each other. Please help by giving your suggestions. Is there something you want or need that we could help you with during this difficult time? Is there anything else we could be doing as a vestry while we are apart? You can reply privately to any Vestry member, or to the group. Don’t hold back!
Sincerely, Corey