The Board of the Association of Anglican Musicians issued the following statement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns expressed by its members:
The Board of the Association of Anglican Musicians strongly urges AAM members to follow all directives as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for slowing the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing and self-quarantining are appropriate and will necessitate the alteration of plans for rehearsals, performances, and liturgies.
Our baptismal covenant in The Book of Common Prayer charges us to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself.” We are called to follow the example of Jesus in protecting the most vulnerable and those on the margins of our society. Our role in The Episcopal Church and our communities is to engage in practices that protect the health and well-being of all people.
As we seek to fulfill our ministries during this pandemic, we encourage clergy and lay leaders to create and implement policies that promote wellness and safety for all staff and volunteers.
Marty Wheeler Burnett, AAM President, noted that some members report being required to work in settings where CDC guidelines are not followed. “In response to recent advisories concerning airborne transmission of the virus, church musicians are particularly concerned with protecting the health of singers and instrumentalists, as well as all parishioners and staff with whom we work,” Burnett explained. “Live streaming, filming, or recording liturgies can create situations where maintaining appropriate physical or social distancing is challenging. Even when musicians are offered a choice, some have encountered subtle or, in few cases, overt pressure to participate or risk being furloughed.”
“As dioceses and parishes begin to develop strategies and timetables for resuming public worship,” Burnett continued, “we ask that our leaders carefully consider the health and well-being of the entire community.”
The Association of Anglican Musicians is a nonprofit organization of musicians and clergy serving in the worshiping communities of The Episcopal Church. Members work in churches, seminaries, and church-related schools. For more information, visit www.anglicanmusicians.org