All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills has notified congregants that its rector, the Rev. Janet Broderick, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and is hospitalized undergoing treatment.
“I am sorry for you to hear this news,” Broderick wrote in a letter to the parish. “I am so thankful for your prayers as I have been ill. Everyone has been so good to me and supported me with prayers…. I am through the worst of this and very, very much on the mend…. Jesus has been so close to me the whole time and scriptures have upheld me … I so look forward to being together again in worship, to praying with you and singing a hymn.” Text of full letter is here.
“We will continue to hold up our rector in prayer, for her rapid and complete recovery,” said Gary Roberts, senior warden of the vestry, or parish board of directors. “The parish is coordinating closely with public health officials and medical professionals for the well-being of our community.”
The parish campus at 504 N. Camden Drive is closed with services suspended pending guidance from the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, said the Rev. Nathaniel Katz, senior associate rector, who is overseeing parish operations including regular online updates here.
The parish anticipates working closely with public health department to ensure that all steps are taken for the health and well-being of All Saints’ Church and those who have had contact with Broderick during the designated incubation period, Katz said.
“The wonderful news today is that our beloved colleague Janet is dramatically improved after a scary few days,” said the Right Rev. John Harvey Taylor, bishop of the six-county Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. “And now we face the challenges of the days ahead. We’ll be following the best advice of health officials; supporting the leaders and people of All Saints’ Beverly Hills as they make decisions about their own health and safety; and discerning, together with all our 200 institutions in six counties, about the best way forward in the light of Janet’s diagnosis and other COVID-19 diagnoses around the region and nation. We invite prayers for healing and wholeness for Janet and all those afflicted; prayers for comfort and strength for the families of all victims; and prayers for good discernment by all those in public life who, by their wise statements and actions, can help blunt the spread of this disease.”
Taylor on March 5 directed all of the diocese’s 130 congregations to suspend use of the common communion cup until further notice and to take other precautions such as avoiding handshakes and using care when serving food. The diocese’s full advisory in English and Spanish is here.
Broderick’s diagnosis follows the March 7 hospitalization of the Rev. Tim Cole, rector of Christ Church, Georgetown, in Washington D.C. The two clerics were among attendees at a denominational Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP) conference Feb. 19-21 in Louisville, Ky.
The local diocese and wider Episcopal Church continue to recommend best practices in addressing COVID-19 while maintaining important pastoral care. A message from Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is here.