Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 9/26/21

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Dear Members and Friends of St. James,

If perchance you attempted this past week to drive by the church or come into our buildings, you may have encountered, as did I, a visible police presence.  Wearing the uniform of my position and being innocent of face, I had no difficulty going around the yellow tape.  In fact, the officers greeted me with smiles and waves and hellos.  The difficulty was locating parking spaces, as huge excavation machinery blocked the street and one deigned to occupy “my” spot.  The City of Somerville is continuing to upgrade its infrastructure, which is long overdue.  The work continues into this week.  I would recommend contacting me via email or telephone, prior to coming to Teele Square.

I send you a reminder: While it is not necessary to register in order to attend Eucharist, we do ask that you continue to note your contact information on the pad at the Broadway entrance.  As I greeted and explained today to the new faces among us, we do not sell this information, but rather it provides us with immediate and ready means of contact should I/we receive information of any Covid-related symptoms among attendees.  I am pleased (overjoyed, really) that those in attendance follow diocesan protocols by donning masks while inside.  Hand sanitizer and masks are also provided at all entrances.  Your wardens and I are investigating how best to ensure that our worship space—indeed, all our facilities—remain safe as colder months approach and we are no longer able to open windows. 

I send a second reminder: The City of Somerville has historically been a locale that has seen the arrival of immigrants to the Boston area, admittedly not always without tension and dissension.  Still, it is our calling to welcome the stranger among us. No official has notified the office that we should expect an influx of new immigrants and I do not write to cause stress.  Rather, I write to tell you again, with what pride I tell others of the openness that has been and continues to mark the strength of the parish, for which the Episcopal standard “The Episcopal Church welcomes you” is more than a mere slogan.

Pray 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; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; 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 mays serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

As schools, colleges and universities reopen in these trying times, pray for Education:
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom: Enlighten by your Holy Spirit those who teach and those who learn, that, rejoicing in the knowledge of your truth, they may worship you and serve you from generation to generation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

As a community of faith, we pray on the 18th Sunday after Pentecost:
O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; 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,