Dear Anglican Family,
Pentecost-tide greetings to you all.
COVID-19 is not over, and we face a serious situation in the Bahamas.
Recent reports indicate that our COVID-19 positive numbers are increasing and the situation in some islands is cause for great concern. Variant strains continue to appear and our COVID-19 medical facilities are all full: Princess Margaret Hospital, Doctor’s Hospital West and the South Beach Clinic. Our medical service personnel are stretched beyond their limit. We love, encourage and pray for them, and for our 3 facilities. On top of this the government’s resources are also stretched to the limit – and ALL of us feel the strain of this challenging time.
We thank God that in the Turks and Caicos Islands the numbers and the situation are both far better.
In spite of our scenario, God is still God and we are still God’s church. We have had many victories in the fight against COVID with more successes to come.
As your friend and bishop, I beg you not to lower your guard. Let us keep up the protocols even though we are tired of restriction – because protocols save lives.
Some persons are becoming lax, and are ignoring capacity limits and other precautions. This is dangerous. The sad thing is that the country is where we are because we know the simple things that we have to do and too many of us are not doing them.
As God’s people, let us tighten up on our observing of the protocols.
- Wear a mask PROPERLY, covering the nose and mouth Social distance and limit congregating
- Stay within the social distance capacity of church buildings and other space
- Wash and sanitize hands regularly Wipe frequently touched surfaces
- Maintain airflow by keeping doors and windows open during services, even as you run air-conditioning for comfort
- Worshippers should enter through ONE door, although multiple exits must be available for fire/incident safety.
- Clergy and servers should sanitize their hands before the liturgy. The clergy should do so right before and after administering Holy Communion.
- Parish hymnbook and prayer books should be put away AND NOT USED for the time being.
- Singing, though a part of all of us, must be controlled. Hymns must be sung in a tempered manner and with masks on.
- Ushers should record the names of every person present at each service. Children present should not be allowed to walk around during the service
- Please sit only in a marked seat as directed by the usher. Pews should be filled from front to back of the church.
- Please remain in your seat except when going to communion. Once seated please do not change seats.
- On the way to communion remain 6 feet apart on the line and sanitize hands at the
- chancel step in preparation to receive communion in the hands.
These measures are not extreme. They are all a part of the good stewardship that God needs from us now.
Be encouraged. Encourage others. God is still in charge. We are still God’s Church. God loves us and wants the best for us.
The current developments are serious so please do not take them lightly.
Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev’d Laish Zane Boyd Sr.
Bishop of The Diocese of the Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands