Letters From Our Pastor

A Short Pastoral Update on the Pandemic

October 28, 2020 by Rev. Dr. Michael Jinkins


A few days ago someone asked me, “Well, how’s the church coming with post-pandemic plans?” After receiving medical attention for my whiplash, I responded by reminding my friend that while the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans have moved to phase three in their response to COVID-19, we are all still very much in the grips of a worldwide pandemic which has taken the lives of over 220,000 people in our country alone. The comment, however, made me realize that I might should say a word or two about what we’re up to as a church.

Cautiously, we are taking the first steps toward allowing for in-person worship this Sunday, November 1. Reservations have been flooding in since they opened Monday morning.

I want to reiterate two things:

  1. If you are in an at-risk group, please continue to enjoy the service of worship remotely;
  2. If you decide to attend worship, please follow all guidelines laid out in the published protocol.

While phase three permits staff to return to the office, I continue to encourage them to work remotely as much as possible.

Our church office is not open in the way it was prior to the pandemic.

  1. If you need to meet with a particular staff member, please make arrangements ahead of time with that staff member so that they know that you are coming.
  2. We all miss the wonderful fellowship and community we enjoyed together when folks dropped by just to visit, and we eagerly look forward to doing this again, but until this pandemic is over, it’s just not possible to do this.

    I was joking with someone this morning that in almost twenty years of teaching leadership, management and church finance in a Presbyterian seminary, I never thought to teach a course on “Leading a Church in a Pandemic.” Well, nobody did. We’re all of us in uncharted territory.

Our staff, in addition to carrying their usual load, has been given many varied tasks for which no one has been trained.

Our members, who have been dealing with months of lockdowns, trials and difficulties, and while still facing so many unknowns, have been stressed in ways none of us probably ever anticipated.

Therefore, I want to encourage us all to be patient with one another. Kindness and generosity of spirit are the words for the day. We will get through this together. The greatness of Saint Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church has always resided in its capacity for grace.

God bless you!