UPDATED March 31, 2020: Read the sermon Pace preached on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 29, 2020.
The Rev. Dr. Robert Pace, 53, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, and the first person in Tarrant County to test positive for the coronavirus Covid 19, has recovered enough that he will lead online Morning Prayer and preach from Trinity this Sunday, March 29, 2020, the Fifth Sunday of Lent. It will be the first time he’s led worship at Trinity since Ash Wednesday, on February 26, the beginning of Lent.
The service will be online at 9:30 am on Sunday.
“I am feeling much better. I have participated this week in the [Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth] Zoom Clergy conference. Jill and I are Sheltering well together and have plenty of food and dog entertainment. I still have to rest more than my ‘normal’, but I am so much better. My voice is finally returning, and I am planning to lead Morning Prayer and preach from Trinity this Sunday,” Pace wrote in an email.
The Gospel appointed by the lectionary for this Sunday is John11:1-48, the story of the raising of Lazarus. A lectionary is a table of readings from Scripture, appointed to be read at public worship. The Episcopal Church uses the Revised Common Lectionary, which is used by many Protestant denominations around the world. It follows the Church year beginning at Advent and continuing through Christmas, Ordinary Time (Time after Epiphany), Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time (Time after Pentecost).
On March 9, Pace and his wife met his physician at the emergency room, where he was tested for the coronavirus, Covid 19. He was admitted with pneumonia.
On March 10, Pace received word that he had tested positive. His wife, the Rev. Dr. Jill Walters, tested negative, but went into quarantine at their home.
On March 11, Pace was released to his home, with orders to stay isolated in his bedroom with the door shut. Meals had to be left outside his door.
On March 20, after having two negative tests for the coronavirus Covid 19, the Tarrant Public Health Department signed an order releasing him from isolation and quarantine. He was still recovering from the pneumonia, however. His wife, the Rev. Dr. Jill Walters, restarted a two-week quarantine, but they no longer had to be separated.
On March 29, when he leads Morning Prayer and preaches, it will be the first time he’s led worship at Trinity since Ash Wednesday, on February 26, the beginning of Lent.
We give thanks for his continued recovery. Please pray for those who are ill, and for those who care for them. Please pray for those who have died, and for those who mourn for them. Please pray for health care workers, grocery store workers, delivery workers, reporters and editors, and for all who are working while others shelter in place. Please for all those who have lost their jobs because of this public health crisis and for those who depend on them.