Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 1/1/23

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Dear Members and Friends of St. James,

As the first day of the year 2023 bends towards its close, I am pleased, indeed, overjoyed, that I am able to share via this medium the sense of wonder and awe which the beauty of our sanctuary evoked in me, as I opened our doors on this first day of the year 2023.  The seasonal adornment, which financial contributions from friends and members, as well as the physical efforts of those who put them in place, made possible, cannot be replicated in these electronic lines.  Yet, the enhanced beauty of the sanctuary goes beyond the visual.    Yesterday, when I was on campus, a member of neighboring parish, St. John’s -Arlington, who is a member of the 3-parish collaborative team assisting our Afghan newcomer in his duties, remarked that the beauty of St. James’ sanctuary gives voice to our commitment to be a place of welcome to all.  So it is, then, that I begin a new year with a feeling of exuberance.

As a reminder, inasmuch as my meditation speaks to the place of tradition in our lives, I remind you that it is tradition for your clergy to offer private Communion to those in the parish who are hindered by whatever reason from attending Divine Liturgy in person.  Especially is this so during the observance of Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of Christ, and set out on our individual paths in the New Year.  All precautions are observed, to ensure that coronavirus is not transmitted during such a visit.  You may connect me via reply to this email address, should you wish to receive Communion.

Of your charity, I bid you pray that the year 2023 will bring cooler minds and a firmer commitment to realize that peace on earth, as the birth of the Prince of Peace offers:
Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the Holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

May the peace of God that passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the love of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you and those whom you love into this new year.  Amen.

Your fellow Sojourner in The Way,