An Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 5/29/21

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Dear Members and Friends of St. James,

You find attached not my usual 2-hour long sermon, a.k.a. brief reflections on the lectionary of the day.  Rather, you find two attachments [see separate posting], pages one and two, of a letter which, so hope I, will bring you as much indescribable joy, as the writing thereof brought me.  This two-sided epistle announces our plans for regathering/reopening/in-person worship, as well as the conditions, under which our reopening is to take place.

Our reopening: Sunday, 6 June, 10:00 a.m. will be the Celebration of the Eucharist.

My first and woefully inadequate thanks are directed to the God of Creation who inspires the human spirit to go beyond self and the mundane, to place themselves often at great personal, understated, and underappreciated risk, in order to seek solutions and remedies to often seemingly insurmountable conditions that plague the human condition. 

Second, while recognizing that the pandemic of our lifetime, a devastation of biblical proportion, has not released its grip on us, even if we were now to “sound the trumpet in Zion,” for all the women and men, known and unknown to us, at every level of society, who have tended to our wellbeing, time would be inadequate.

And, of course, I turn my thanks to those in our own parish family who have been at work, literally and physically, to prepare our spaces to meet diocesan and civil guidelines and mandates, in order that we may regather, assured that everything has been done which should minimize the transmission not only of the Covid-19 virus, but of other harmful antigens as well.  As we regather, let us so do, grounded in our belief of a Creator God who longs only for our best, but grounded realistically, pragmatically, too, in the task before us to proclaim the Good News in ways that speak to those outside our sanctuary.  Let us regather with a song of thanksgiving and joy—and, yes, we are able to sing, but behind our masks!!—in our hearts and on our lips.

I bid you pray.

Collect for Trinity Sunday:
Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father, who with the Son and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

For the Human Family:
O God, you made us in  your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

For those engaged in the ministry of healing:
O merciful God, giver of life and health, send your blessing, we pray, upon all who are engaged in the ministry of healing.  Grant that they be compassionate in their care for the sick and afflicted, fearless in their efforts to promote the health and well-being of the people in this and other lands, and be strengthened by your grace, for the sake of Him whose Cross is the pledge of victory over all powers of evil, even 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 and remain with you and those whom you love this day and for ever. Amen

Your fellow traveler in The Way