St. Michael & All Angels
Episcopal Church

Transforming lives through Christ

St. Michael's ~ Friday Brief

June 19, 2020
Reopening Update

    Once again we have considered whether or not to begin reopening St. Michael’s for in-person worship, and once again concluded that now is the wrong time.  For the month of July, we will continue to livestream our services each Sunday as we have for the past few months, and we will reevaluate our situation as we draw closer to August.  Having said that, I think it’s important to explain the rationale for this decision.

    Lee County and all of Florida are experiencing a spike in the daily rate of new COVID-19 infections, and Sanibel is no longer as isolated from the rest of the county as we were prior to the reopening of beaches, restaurants and hotels.  One of the indicators is that after a month and a half of no new infections on Sanibel, there have been two in the last few weeks. At the same time, a large percentage of people are not wearing masks in the public places they frequent, increasing the risk of transmission of the virus.

    In our congregation, the majority of us are in the high risk category by virtue of age, and many us have underlying health issues as well.  The health and safety of this congregation are a primary concern.  I know some have said, “I am willing to take the risk,” but that overlooks the risk that creates for others around us, and we, especially, should be seeking the welfare of each other.

    It may be worth noting that while Sanibel Congregational Church has begun in-person worship, Sanibel UCC and Temple Bat Yam have both remained closed.  There is not a count available of how many churches in our Diocese have begun reopening, but based on local situations, many have remained closed.

    Given the uncertainties of living in this pandemic, and the forecasts of a second, more virulent wave of infections toward the end of summer, it is important for all of us that we exercise caution.  We will, of course, monitor what is happening in our area and when the time is right, we will reopen.

Sunday Morning at 10:30
On Sunday, Holy Eucharist (Rite II) begins at 10:30 a.m. Remember, if you are not able to view the service when it is live, it remains on the St. Michael’s Livestream link and website to be viewed at other times.   The Sunday service will continue at 10:30  a.m. until we are able to have in-person services again.

A copy of the service bulletin is attached to this email (red button below) and will be current each week.  You can follow online or print out the bulletin.  Either way, I encourage you to not only follow along, but participate as well.  You can read the congregational responses and prayers aloud; and sing along with the music. It may feel a little strange at first, but you will quickly become used to it, and you will know that you are worshiping together with many others of our St. Michael’s online congregation.

Also attached to this email is the link (blue button below) to watch the service via or recorded.  If you sign on early...wait for the service to begin.  You'll see the timer counting down.  DO NOT press the "Go Live" button at the top.  
LIVESTREAM ~ 6/21/2020

Joan Downey (6/20)
Martha Ponader (6/20)
Mary Chasseur (6/21)
Kirk Gulledge (6/22)
Polly Pinney (6/25)
Peg McGann (6/26)
Dale McGinley (6/26)
Joan Thoms (6/26)

Lana & Jim Smith (6/22)
Martha & Wayne Ponader (6/23)
Susan & Ken Lord (6/24)
Betsy & Walter Schuman (6/24)
Judy & Tom Addison (6/27)
Ann & Lee Cooper (6/27)

Boyd Johnson     •     Barry Gordon     •     Judy Workman
Betty Cater     •     Martha Vaules     •     Susan Elam
Roz Burroughs     •     Ed Pereles     •     Pat Van Alstyne
Kristen Beltz     •     John Bordieri     •     Ralph Sloan
Polly Pinney     •     Paula Traxler     •     Wes Rooker
Brenda Demaree     •     George Craig     •     Jim & Pat King
Jan Pearson-Graham     •     Margi Shilay     •     Claudia Johnson
Joan Downey     •     Gretchen Van Walterop
Mary Lou Flynn     •     Anne Lincoln
Prayer for New Rector Search
God of patient and gentle strength, who knows our needs before we ask, may your loving presence guide us as we seek the next rector for St. Michael and All Angels. Give us an open spirit, discerning hearts and clear minds, that we may trust your will for us and become ever more united in your son our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Inspire our conversation, deepen our prayer, and make us a community of humility and grace.  Raise up for us, we pray, a priest and pastor who will boldly proclaim your Gospel, faithfully administer your sacraments, and serve your people with love and compassion.  Amen.
Livestreaming has been problematic for some time, more so in the last few months. Most of us, I think, myself included, have assumed that there is something amiss at St. Michael’s.  Whether it be equipment or whatever, that assumption leads to the conclusion that we need to fix it and fix it soon.  Well, meae non culpa!  Or, to paraphrase Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and they is not us!”  So, here is the explanation as far as we know it now.

First, definitions: bandwidth - the maximum data transfer rate of an internet connection; bit – a single piece of computer data; megabit – one million bits, roughly; megabits per second (Mbps) a measure of internet speed.  For example, our internet service at St. Michael’s is 200 Mbps, or very fast.

Why then are we having problems with dropping our livestream or intermittent pauses and freezes? According to Comcast, our internet provider, we are connected to them by a multi-user coaxial cable.  (They couldn’t tell us how much of Sanibel is on that same cable.) And so we come to bandwidth.  Think of it as I-75.  If you are the only car on I-75 you can go very fast, because there’s no one to get in your way.  The more cars that get on I-75 with you, the more likely it is you’ll be slowed down. We are meeting with Comcast next Tuesday to discuss the possibility of moving onto a single user (us) fiber-optic (high bandwidth) cable.

Lest you think that is a guaranteed solution, that is only one of several potential choke-points between here and your computer.  A second one is the cable from Comcast to you.  A third one is the Comcast network itself. And finally, the internet service plan that you have.  Hopefully our meeting next Tuesday will clarify some of that.

An informal survey revealed that Sanibel UCC is having exactly the same livestream problems that we are.  They hired the company that installed their system to examine it, and the answer was that there were no equipment problems at the church.  The Community Church is having their first livestreamed service this Sunday, so, we’ll see.  St. Thomas in St. Petersburg is having exactly the same problems with their livestream that we are.  And a personal story: with a 300 Mbps plan at home in LaBelle, our Facetime call to our son and family was interrupted by periodic pauses.  I did a speed check and found out that while our plan is 300Mbps, our actual speed at the time was 28Mbps.  All to say, we’re not alone.

In any case, we will continue to work with Comcast to insure that we are receiving the best possible internet service, and that you will receive the best livestream experience available.

I want to thank so many of you for your thoughts of Ronn at this sad time in my life.
I also wish to thank Fr. Alan for his soothing talk to my family, and to our nurse Wendy Warner for her help to me in this time of need.  Again, many thanks to a special lady.

Also, the many thoughts on Ronn's orchids have also been good memories for me.

Again, thank you.
Joan Downey

My new address:  7820 Fanning Ct., #277, Fort Myers, 33907
 Seminar on Race

We realize these are challenging times on many fronts. On one front we are witnessing a call for racial justice and equality with unprecedented intensity: For that reason we are offering a Zoom seminar on the subject for anyone who might be interested.
               LET’S  TALK ABOUT RACE
               A six-week Zoom Seminar
Facilitated by:  Luann Fortune, PhD and The Rev. Anne Kimball
Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. beginning June 27

The national climate and recent unrest in our cities illuminate many and complex challenges relayed to race in our country and society.

While we all have our unique personal history, our Christian beliefs call us to provide support where there is suffering and injustice, and to seek ways to advance positive change and healing.  It seems that this is the time for is to ponder these things in our hearts, to become better informed, and together to broaden our perspectives.

We will provide reading materials and book suggestions as we go along and we will meet via Zoom.

To register contact:
  Luann Fortune:  202-669-4798  
  Anne Kimball:  239-454-2854

Group size will be call soon.
Social Gathering on Zoom

Sunday at 11:30 am will be our only Social. Please use this link to join us on Sunday at 11:30 AM. Thanks everyone.

Hope to see you all this weekend.  Have a great week and be safe.

~ Susie Wilson

 Meeting ID: 828 682 0627
Password: 535859
Please take a moment to read

Thursday Bible Study

Every Thursday 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. our weekly Bible Study meets via ZOOM.  We are currently working our way through the Gospel of John.

Join Zoom Meeting ~ ID # 930 4599 7623

If you need assistance logging in, please call Susan at the Church Office.

Call: 239-472-2173

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St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church · 2304 Periwinkle Way · Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3209 · USA

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