Hello, Creator Family!
Our blessings this Easter truly overflow. After a long, long time away--time that none of us could fathom and all of us have lamented, we are returning to worship in our Sanctuary THIS Sunday, Easter Sunday! I can’t help feeling ready to burst into song: O Happy, Happy Day!
The change that led to this happy news came quickly and unexpectedly at the end of last week. I spent a fair amount of time on the phone with the Bishop’s office tracking down the particulars of this news and talking with our Senior Warden, Lee Barron, about our response. Your Vestry is meeting to prepare for Sunday, and we are all excited about re-gathering at Easter.
Our process for re-gathering will look much like our in-person, outside worship. Physical distance is not only a mandate, but a sound and, strangely, most considerate approach to gathering indoors. You will find the Sanctuary as welcoming as ever—and also carefully arranged and marked to honor the current guidelines and help our parishioners feel at home. There will be specific instruction for you when you arrive to include the location of PPE (masks, gloves), sanitation products (wipes, hand sanitizer), along with our plan for the service. As always, please wear your mask for the duration. We will be led by our Music Minister, Martha, playing all the beautiful Easter music she has planned and accompanied by the singing of Don and Elizabeth Lafoon.
Strange and new as it all is, my promise is that this will NOT be an unsettling or strange experience for you. Well, at least not any more unsettling than a God who loves you unconditionally, dying on a cross, and then rising from a grave for YOU. As always, the service will still be broadcast over ZOOM and YouTube for those attending from home, so there’s one more “strange” development we will take in stride. Our new A/V station inside the sanctuary which benefitted you from your sofa will now be a consideration from the pew. This, for me, is what it means to be family: flexible, patient, giving and of good cheer. We have all been through, and still are in, such a long, strange year. We need to be in the Body now more than ever. A lot of prayer, effort and industry go before you into our beloved church. Please consider joining us this Sunday for our Resurrection Day Celebration at 10 am.
It has been so long since we were able to worship together, but our year apart from in-person liturgy has not been a waste or futile. I believe, rather, that God has been growing new gifts, new fruits, in each of us, and now will be the time of sharing them to grow our congregation. As the prophet Isaiah reminds us, “…those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31). God speaks to us from so long ago as the voice we hear even today, in times of trial, sorrow, or confusion God faithfully calls to us to wait because God is waiting for us! Isaiah encourages all of us by proclaiming, “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” (30:18)
God waits to be gracious to us! God lovingly looks for our devotion and commitment and desires to shower upon us the Light of Life, the Morning Star, the Living Water, the Love and Peace and companionship of Jesus through the indwelling Holy Spirit! Claim God’s love and presence NOW and celebrate with us this Easter Sunday!
“Blessed are they who remain steadfast under trial, for when they have stood the test they will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to all those who love him.” (James 1:12)
Father Bill Burk†