How St. Michael's handled the Covid-19

In March of 2020 Boise began to experience the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The local health district soon imposed restrictions on gatherings and crowd size. In response to this and to keep the parishioners and staff safe, the Vestry created a task force headed by parishioner Dr. Edward McEachern. The results were comprehensive COVID-19 guidelines that were first published in July, 2020 on the Parish Website . The COVID-19 information has been regularly updated on the website as public health conditions change. As a result of COVID-19, all in person worship services have been cancelled over the past year. On-line video and audio services have been provided for Sunday as well as some weekday services. A task force has been formed and is working on a plan of when and how to reopen services safely.

Although the parish has not been able to physically assemble, the connection to one another still goes on with classes available through Zoom. Over the summer, eucharist was celebrated in several parks under the rules established under the COVID-19 guidelines. Grief counseling has been available on Zoom. A chalk board was mounted outside the church, for prayer requests. The parish mission work has continued. Come to the Banquet, a well attended sit-down luncheon on the last Saturday of every month, has become a very high end take-out lunch. Baby Steps still ministers to single parents but socially distanced and masked. The thrift shop has closed, but bagged lunches, socks and other necessary items are available to anyone every weekday.

Since the church buildings are not being used, a significant effort has been put on deferred maintenance issues. Recent weather damaged roofing on the parish hall and cathedral; both are being replaced. Additional outside work on the cathedral has included new front steps and repair to the accessibility ramp. New protective coverings are being provided for the stained-glass windows, and improvements are being made on the roof gutters and the water drainage around the cathedral. During that same time the interior of the cathedral is getting a refresh with a refinish of the floor and pews. At the same time, some minor changes in pew placement will be made to improve handicap accessibility. To get more details and pictures of the work being done on the cathedral, go to the parish website Historic Renovations Projects page. The pandemic has also raised concerns about interior ventilation issues and a study is underway to evaluate new heating and air conditioning options within the cathedral.

As the pandemic ends, the parish is beginning to explore how things learned over the past year might help us improve our mission. From that, online tools are now being evaluated as a way of improving communications with our homebound parishioners.

Collect for Transition

Almighty God, you have called us, as you called those who came before us, into lively and holy ministry in this Cathedral parish, to be your light in this corner of the world: in this time of change, send, we pray, your Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us, to help us discover who we are, and what we may become; as we prepare for a new shepherd of your flock, a minister in your house, grant us patience, discernment, and grace in all our uncertainties, and bless our search for one to lead us as the church you call us to be, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Link to St. Michael's Main Website