An Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 12/12/2020

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Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. James,

This week as I sat in our sanctuary, physically challenged by the low temperature (we heat only at a level to prevent frozen pipes) many thoughts, of which I mention just three, raced through my mind.  First, mine was not a Johannine “Revelation,” but rather the realization that the seasonal liturgical hangings before me were those of Epiphany, which are the same as those Season of Pentecost (with no complaint of the Altar Guild).  Like the Biblical Hebrews, we had no time to feast on ‘leavened bread.’  The coronavirus caused us to exit with haste.  Normally, liturgical blue or purple would have been before me as I sat in one of our pews.  The purple would then give way to the liturgical white of Christmastide.  That, too, shall not be so this year, even as your senior warden and I had begun discussion with the Diocese regarding reassembling for a Christmas liturgy.  The rapid increase of Covid-19 cases in Somerville has returned restrictions.

The second thought that occurred to me was perhaps an irreverent one.  While those beautiful green hangings, unchanged for Advent and Christmastide 2020, reminded me of these past months (which seem to have become the new normal), I, not being a latter-day Moses, argued with God that a wandering of 40 years was unacceptable because we have scientists, both women and men, here and abroad, who could reduce that time to something more manageable.  And, in my further irreverence, I imagined our Creator God convening a conference of the medical and scientific communities and declaring: “Make haste!  Do not tarry in your research!  The folks at St. James in Teele Square in Somerville have got to get back to work, to the task of declaring the Good News of Christ.  Besides, Butler should not be allowed to think that the place is there solely for his own personal and private devotions.”

The third thought was one of wonderment, namely of the patience and wisdom and positive advice that you have all demonstrated to me during these too, too long months of separation.  Premature action, you have said to me and to our wardens, i.e., a rush to reopen our doors, could lead to undesirable outcomes.  And for such advice I utter thousand thanks to you all, even as I pray that a new year may see us again in our usual and predictable places.


StNicolas 2018REMINDER          REMINDER          REMINDER            REMINDER


If we are to assemble a collage of greetings to be posted on our website and Facebook page, I must have your submission by Thursday, 17 December.  Not being talented in technology, I must appeal to colleagues in our Deanery who will assist me in this endeavor, and they have their own parish concerns.  So, PLEASE.

Let us pray:

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth; to senators and representatives, and those who make our laws, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people; and finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name.  For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.  Amen.

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

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

Your humble fellow in The Way