Good Day, Creator Family,
In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul encourages his listeners to “rejoice in the Lord always!” Rejoice literally means to “show joy”-- and for people of faith, showing joy is offering up praise to God in Christ Jesus.
There are good times and bad times, but unlike us, God is not curtailed or discouraged by the fleeting “chances and changes” of this world. God’s presence is eternal and changeless, and God invites us into God’s own changelessness through the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Though it’s not always easy, we need not be wearied, but rather filled with joy as we praise God in Christ Jesus for all that we are and all that we have been given through the promise of salvation!
The pandemic has certainly been an upheaval to our lives and a disruption to our regular routine, even now after six months. Remember the “code” word in the early days of the virus—“unprecedented.” I think it’s safe to say the new code words are “life changing.” Those of us still yearning to return, to go back to our “normal” ways are realizing that that possibility is gone. But our hope for a new creation, a NEW way of living and being, must not go with it! This is why we need, all the more, to embrace the presence of God in our lives and allow the Joy of Christ Jesus to fill us! Yes, we will stumble and falter, but God’s faithfulness and belief in us is abiding and constant. God remains to hold us and reignite our joy and peace in believing.
In our parish, our movement towards God has never stopped or faltered. We are grateful and praise God as we strive to witness and build an awareness of the presence of God in our community and throughout the world! We have responded to COVID-19 by energetically pursuing an on-line presence through ZOOM and YouTube. We have broadcasted every Sunday service and weekday event since the lockdown began, and we are constantly innovating to stay ahead of the curve and ensure a seamless presence no matter what. God is at work here, friends; at work in the effort and the energy in our fellowship, our weekly study, our worship—be it virtual or in person. The actual, visible work on our parish in the form of painting and repair (Have you seen it? It’s certainly “something new”!) for me, is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible yet abiding fire of the Holy Spirit.
There are a couple of other “unseen” or less seen witnesses to our efforts to grow in our weekly worship life. To this Ministry of Presence we have added the position of Audio Visual Specialist, and are pleased to recognize Will Burk for his hard work and dedication. Will has been instrumental in the development process as well as a tireless worker fabricating and tuning the electronic pieces of a very complicated A/V puzzle. We are blessed every Sunday as we worship the Lord by Will’s dedication to Christ and his desire to serve the Lord in this ministry.
Mary Ford, our Parish Secretary, has also gone “above and beyond” in her service and dedication. Mary has been available every Sunday to address any issues that have come up and is a joyful companion as we strive to overcome difficulties that would otherwise sideline our plans.
Your faithful Vestry has continued to pray, meet and call on members to knit our Body, and we are entering into a time of outwardly voiced stewardship. In this “Harvest” time of year, each year, we give thanks to God by offering our tithes in the form of financial support of our parish and ministries. To that end, you will find a newly developed Stewardship page. This is basically an on-line Stewardship Card with the exact wording of the physical card you are used to receiving in past years. While the spiritual, emotional and financial aspects of making a pledge to our parish is a multi-layered and time-worthy process between your and our faithful God, the logistical process of pledging is simple, and the information secure and protected. The report is delivered straight to our Pledge Secretary and is password protected for you protection. CLICK HERE for our new secure online Pledge Card.
As always, if you would prefer a physical card, simply email or call the Office and Mary will send you one in the mail or you may pick it up when you came to Church on Sunday!
We are connected through the indwelling Holy Spirit and as we strive to deepen our connection with each other and our God, we are privileged to have the tools to stay connected even in unusual times.
Faithfully in Christ,
Father Bill Burk†