Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Apostles developed a video livestream to help connect people with our worship services in exceptional circumstances. We needed to offer these services online, especially when attendance was limited to 50 persons or less; when social distancing further limited our seating; when there was no vaccine available for the COVID virus.
Thankfully, circumstances have improved greatly in recent months in Knox County. Social distancing is no longer necessary and we do not require masks at our worship services. With these improved circumstances, we believe it’s also time to change the focus of our livestream services.
A long-standing principle for Anglicans states that the duty of each lay person is “to worship every Lord’s Day (Sunday) in a church unless reasonably prevented.” This principle is affirmed in the canons of our own diocese. We believe that physical presence in church, for those who are able, is one of the most important offerings we give to the Lord and to others. Physical presence is vital for friendship and spiritual community.
Beginning Sunday, June 5th, our livestream will become a closed feed for our parishioners who are unable to attend Apostles services in person due to medical reasons. All parishioners for whom this applies should contact the Apostles office (865.385.6686 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for instructions on accessing the closed feed. Lay Eucharistic Ministers will also be taking home communion to those parishioners who are not able to attend services in person. You may also schedule these visits through the Apostles office.
For those who are able to attend, livestream services are not meant to be a replacement for worship in person. If you are traveling away from Knoxville on a Sunday, we ask that you attend an ACNA church nearby, or another orthodox, sacramental church if an ACNA parish is far away. If you have worshiped with Apostles from afar during the pandemic, we are grateful to have made connections with you. Going forward, we offer the same counsel for our members who travel: we advise finding an ACNA or other orthodox, sacramental church nearest you where you can connect, serve, and worship in person.