An Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 8/22/20

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Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. James,

Here is my weekly update.  I send you all warmest greetings.

  • As summer has moved beyond its zenith, communications in many parishes and at diocesan level have turned to the typical end-of-summer, plans-for-fall-and-beyond parish activities. Although we at St. James choose to remain in Phase One of our bishop’s reopening guidelines, Covid-19 is forcing other parishes to rethink programs.  Parishioner David Olsen, secretary to the Alewife Deanery, has announced a virtual deanery meeting for Thursday, 3 September, 7 p.m.  This will replace the jovial and enthusiastic in-person, small convocation normally experienced by lay leaders and parish clergy alike.
  • Even as we await a time for our own reopening, our junior warden has marked off appropriate distances in our sanctuary. My thanks go out to Bill Parson for thinking ahead, and may that time of regathering be not much longer.
  • I have not taken my customary holiday as I am restricted by other nations’ decisions to ban entrance of US citizens into their countries. Although FaceTime does aid in relieving somewhat the ache of lack of personal interaction, I am thankful that family abroad and in country remains well.  It is no burden to me to remain connected to you instead by way of pastoral visits via telephone and brief notes.  I only hope, for those who receive a handwritten note from me, that you have not found it necessary to call upon someone who is skilled in deciphering hieroglyphics.boxes
  • This week, as mentioned to several parishioners, I have played “Christmas in August.” Although I packed personally those things that I wished to take to my new and smaller abode—a 10-room house had outgrown my needs—it was fun actually, to try to guess the content of boxes as I opened them.  More specific labeling would have removed my anticipation, but then my efforts to become real labor.  Through it all, only one item was damaged, one that, in packing, I had considered not packing.  Thanks shall you all have for your support in my move.



During my “work,” I engaged in my own private and personal hymn-sing.  One hymn (469) coursed continuously through my mind.  I offer the first and closing stanzas to you all as a reminder of whose we are:

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea;
there’s a kindness in his justice, which is more than liberty.
There is welcome for the sinner, and more graces for the good;
there is mercy with the Savior; there is healing in his blood.

For the love of God is broader than the measure of the mind,
and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind,
if our love were but more faithful, we should take him at his word;
and our life would be thanksgiving for the goodness of the Lord.

May the peace of God that passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, and may the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with you and those whom you love this day and for evermore.  AMEN

Your fellow traveler in The Way,



Hymn 469 St. Helena