Dear Members and Friends of Faith:
I hope and pray that you are finding your way through this COVID-19 crisis. I thank you for all the kind emails, phone calls, and expressions of concern you have shown me and other members of the congregation.
The Holy Week videos are now all together in one place. If you missed any, or would just like to go back and see them, they can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDyvr_6_0sGz_zgIp5LmHrIAa4kRlr_oZ
Additionally, if you would ever like to watch the “Stripping of the Altar” video for your own devotional purposes, you can view it here on its own: https://youtu.be/8r6hdv3XMy0
Feel free to share these links with anyone who you think might be interested. Could be an interesting form of evangelism, couldn’t it?
This coming Sunday we hear once again the story of the disciples locked in a room together following Jesus’ death and resurrection for fear of the religious and political authorities. Hmmm, isolated indoors for fear of what’s on the other side – sounds familiar, doesn’t it? As a colleague told me, “The sermon kind of writes itself this week!” Well, I guess we’ll see. I hope you can join us for our livestreamed service on Sunday morning at 10:00 AM.
This coming Wednesday, April 22 is going to be Earth Day. Rev. Kimber McNabb, pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Halifax, has produced a video teaching us how to make an Easter/Earth Day Butterfly, which focusses on Prayers, Promises, and Places. If you like crafts, I invite you to see how to make this at: https://youtu.be/U11oF7WqryM
As you know, Holy Communion was part of our liturgies on Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday. We won’t have Holy Communion together this Sunday, but I would like us to have a conversation about whether or not we should return to this in the near future before we are able to gather again together for worship in the church. However, I’m hoping you will consider the question beyond simply “I liked it,” or “I didn’t like it;” or “I think we should do it online,” or “I don’t think we should do it online.” Rather, I would encourage you to think about questions like:
- How was it different than having Holy Communion together at church?
- What was special about doing it this way?
- What did I miss from having it at church with others?
- Are we really “together” when we gather online? Why? Why not?
- What does the ritual of Holy Communion really mean to me?
I would like us to have a conversation about these questions, and the only way to do so these days is to use an online platform like Zoom or Go To Meeting. I would like to do this next week, so:
- If you would like to have this conversation with others, email me and let me know.
- Once I know who and how many I will set up one or more online meetings and invite you to one of them. (For ease of communicating at meeting like this, I’m only going to have up to 7 people at each meeting.)
It would be good to see your face (or just hear your voice – because you will be able to just call in, if you would rather do it that way) and have this conversation about Holy Communion. I hope you will join us.
Finally, I leave you with “A Prayer During COVID Times” written by Pastor Janaki Bandara, pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran in Cambridge (and a former intern at Faith).
Peace and Be Well,
A Prayer During COVID times.
During these past few weeks, much has changed in our world.
We want to visit and hug and hold hands.
We want to throw open our arms and our doors, sit together.
But we are called to respect the nature of this virus and refrain from contact.
We serve each other in this time through our efforts:
At proper handwashing.
At social distancing.
With attentive and responsible care about all we do, to minimize risks.
We confess of our weakness in keeping safe distances, in maintaining social isolation, in keeping the vulnerable ones as safe as possible.
We confess of our weakness in NOT reaching out by the means available to us:
by telephone or internet,
across fences and good safe distances,
to encourage and cheer each other up.
We confess of our weaknesses in keeping strong faith and the encouraging message of eternal life in the forefront of our consciousness.
We confess of allowing our Christ-enlightened consciousness to be pierced by the arrows of despair and the dark invasion of news.
Forgive us of these ways Holy God, please.
Forgive us of our need to be in control.
Forgive us of our stubborn refusal to release old ways,
Please help us in our submission to the requirements of this time.
Please help us to open our hearts and minds to what you have to show us. Amen.