An Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 2/20/21

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Dear Members and Friends of St. James, 

I send to you, as usual, my thoughts regarding the lectionary readings of the day, as well as concerns and ideas of our common life. Should you find time to glance at my homily [see separate posting], some of you may find yourselves (i.e., your ideas) represented.  I have often said, especially when we were still able to worship in person, that though I am the priest, you, individually and collectively, are the ministers.  My written thoughts for the First Sunday in Lent reflect to a great degree what words of wisdom and thought-provoking challenges you utter, perhaps [as you realize] your own strengths.  I look forward to the time that we reconvene, for I pray that, on occasion, you will be emboldened to share from our lectern your invaluable insights.

Regarding our Annual Meeting that, thanks to our senior warden’s technological skills, we were able to conduct, I say simply: Thanks shall you all have for your continued commitment to the ministry of our parish.  Especially worthy of note is your willingness to continue to serve in official roles during this stressful period brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.  This begins, as it were, a new year for our parish, and I am pleased to be a fellow traveler as we encounter and react communally to what may await us.

[This] may appear odd and counterintuitive to you during a season marked by solemnity and contemplation, but I close not only with two prayers for Lent, but by wishing you a joyous, healthy, and prosperous Lent, so that we might celebrate all the more, in due time, the greater joy of the Feast of the Resurrection.

Let us pray:

The Collect of Ash Wednesday

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and resigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Collect for the First Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives an reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  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 traveler in The Way