Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 10/24/21

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Dear Members and Friends of St. James,

I send you greetings as a beautiful fall day leans towards its close.  There is something comforting, at least for me, to be reminded that there remains a power over which we of humankind have no control, but that is shared by and with all.  That a seasonal change is upon us was evidenced as I entered from the 41⁰ outside temperature into St. Francis Hall from Clarendon Avenue to be greeted by the warmth of our heating system. 

It is crucial that I write you this, for it allows me to remind you that we clean regularly all our facilities to avert the possible transmission of the coronavirus.  Masks and social distancing remain the order of the day.  We must and shall maintain this regimen because, as temperatures continue to decline, we will not be able to open windows as during the summer months.  Please note also that thoughts are being discussed how we might best restore those minutes of informal fellowship, “The Famous St. James Coffee Hour,” in St. Francis Hall, due to changing weather conditions and diocesan guidelines under Covid-19.

Have car will travel!  For years now, St. James has not been solely a neighborhood parish, although our campus has not moved from Teele Square.  Parishioners have remained loyal to each other and to this place.  And as I was privileged to share this week the Sacraments of Holy Communion with several parishioners in their homes, so am I, fully vaccinated, permitted to visit others.  However, respecting your concerns re: Covid-19, I shall await a word from you when and whether you desire this ministry of the Church.  I repeat: Have car will travel!

I remind you, as well, that we shall observe, prematurely by one day, the Feast of All Saints.  On Sunday next, 31 October, we will recall by name those who have returned to Eternity, but who remain with us in our memory.  Please post names to me by replying to this email [or call the office, 617-666-1063] if you not have already added names to the sheet in St. Francis Hall.

Today’s gospel lesson of the blind beggar Bartimaeus reminds us that there are many who are in need and many who minister to them.  Because of the pandemic and lack of sufficient volunteers, the annual Fall Fair is again cancelled.  However, thanks to the generosity of spirit, there are those among us who plan to box items of clothing, especially winter coats, that will be given to Good Will for further distribution.  I am grateful to you all who continue in this changed ministry.

Of your charity, I bid you pray for those who are sick and who give aid to them:
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

The Collect for the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost unites us all:
Almighty and Everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

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 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 forever more.  Amen.

Your fellow traveler in The Way,