An Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 10/31/20

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Dear Members and Friends of St. James,

Because of the hold which Covid-19 has imposed on our assembly, I recalled mid-week that I had not engaged in my/our semi-annual ritual of reminding each other of the time change, presently from summer to fall (back!).  That humorous ritual, like many others in our faith community, was shelved, but now all the more missed.

My report this week consists primarily of alerting you to diocesan updates:

  • The Most Reverend Michael Curry, our Presiding Bishop, has invited us all to join in a virtual prayer meeting. Live-streaming from our National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., Bishop Curry will lead an interdenominational service entitled “Holding on to Hope.  A National Service for Healing and Wholeness.”  This service takes place All Saints Sunday, 1 November, from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.  Access can be gotten at
  • Our Diocesan Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Alan Gates, met on Wednesday last via Zoom with clergy of our Alewife Deanery. Although he did speak to us, he saw his role primarily as one to listen and to offer words of encouragement and counsel to clerical leaders who, because he is affected in a similar fashion, feel the stress of our current situation.  He reminded us of information regarding regathering and the coming Diocesan Convention.  He underscored that his primary concern remains to uphold the health of clergy and lay alike in theDavidOlsen2 Diocese, reminding us of the need to observe local culture and state and municipal ordinances.  We are a diverse diocese re: ritual practices and demographics and, therefore, he and his advisors will bear those and other factors in mind, as we anticipate future return to indoor worship.
  • For individuals interested in the planned virtual Diocesan Convention, Saturday, 7 November, the following website has been established: David Olsen and I shall represent you officially at convention.


On a pastoral note, I continue, as best I am able, under these challenging circumstances, to maintain contact.  I am especially gladdened when I speak with or receive an email message from you.  Such was Evon Dalrymplethe case when I received a call from Evon Dalrymple, from whom I had not heard for some time.  Culprit: a malfunctioning computer on her end.  That problem has been resolved.  My request to you all: please continue to reach out to one another and to inform me when there are problems with computers.  Through diocesan funds we may be able to address them.  Finally, I share with you today, as have I in these last weeks, my concern for the political process in our great nation.  As informed Christians, let us not forsake doing our civic duty on Tuesday, 3 November.  For those needing transportation, I place my carriage (my reliable 20-year-old Volvo) and myself as chauffeur at your disposal.  I keep a steady hand on the reins.


Let us pray:

O merciful God, giver of life and health, whose will is made known to us in Jesus Christ our Lord: Send Your blessing upon all who are engaged in healing.  Grant that they may be compassionate in their care and fearless in their efforts to promote the health and well-being of the people of this and other lands, and be strengthened by Your grace, for the sake of Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ.  AMEN

O merciful God, who has taught us in your holy word that you do not willingly afflict or grieve the children of your Creation, look with compassion upon us and all humankind, that we may come to know your will for us in the building of your kingdom on earth as in heaven, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.  Amen

O God, you have bound us together in a common life.  Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of officials and representative; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

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 Chris our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with and remain with you and those whom you love this day and for ever.  Amen

Your humble fellow in The Way