YOU BELONG HERE . . . and we want you to know we will be praying for all in the community during this time that we will not be gathering together. All worship services are suspended on March 15, 22, and 29 due to the concerns over COVID-19.
Yet, whoever you are or for whatever reason that you are looking at this website, we want you to know that in the Episcopal Church and particularly from the people of St. Christopher’s you will receive the Welcome of Christ.
As all of us are all to aware, COVID-19 is radically reshaping how that “Welcome of Christ” looks during this time of national and global crisis. I never thought that I would ever write that perhaps the clearest way to show Christ’s love and welcome is to distance ourselves from sisters and brothers in order to protect them and those they love from a novel virus that has overtaken our world. Yet, that is what we are being advised by national health officials to do. This is a time like none other.
In the Scripture readings of March 15, we find in the passage from Romans 5: 1-11.
“Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
This is indeed a time of suffering but it is in this time of darkness that we can see the light of hope. It is already happening with people caring for one another, sacrificing our wants and needs for the common good. Who would have ever thought that March madness would not refer to the fun of basketball being played and the millions of people gathered to enjoy the games, but rather to the unbelievable rise of a novel virus and a global pandemic sweeping not only our country, but disrupting lives and upending everything as we have known it. Who would have ever thought that during the holy season of Lent we would be fasting from gathering for Holy Eucharist and finding creative ways to remain connected to community worship through the wonders of online resources.
We are being encouraged to self-isolate and if ill to self-quarantine in order to “flatten the curve” and slow the progression of the virus. In our isolation, we perhaps are becoming more connected with others and more unified. I read recently that in Spain, people were encouraged to go to their balconies at a specific time to make noise and acclaim the health care workers. It was said that you could hear the unified voice of the people being raised across the city. I am praying that similar things will be possible in our own country, perhaps not through the raising of our voices together, but in our unified actions to put others first. While we cannot gather in common places, we can continue to connect with other people by phone or through electronic means. I invite you to pray for one another. If you think of someone, please consider that a nudge of the Spirit and give them a call. Follow the guidelines that are being set forth, but if you are able to help another with groceries or other needs, it could be a blessing. I understand some grocery stores are also delivering or packaging food so that it can just be picked up when you arrive.
The most important thing to do for one another, however, is to pray. Please know that each of you and all of you remain in my thoughts and prayers.
May this be a time of grace and unity and may we use it to learn how to more deeply love and offer our lives in service to the common good.
May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son, Jesus, and may the blessing of God rest upon you this day and always.
Because we want everyone to be included, St. Christopher’s is so happy to be able to provide a hearing loop to those who wear hearing aids. Just switch your hearing aid to ‘T’ to access the loop. If you do not wear a hearing aid and wish to have the benefit of the loop, you may ask the ushers and they will give you a headset to use.