Parish Update, 3/27/22

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4 Lent

Dear Members and Friends of St. James,
In addition to my weekly meditation, I take this opportunity to direct your attention to matters concerning our parish. Some of what follows may seem repetitive, i.e. items previously posted in this medium. Also, some information, mentioned today for the first time, will be repeated in the weeks ahead, as we approach to Holy Weeks.

* SCAM CAUTION: It has been brought to my attention that solicitations bearing my name have been posted. Please remember: Solicitations of any kind, but especially ones that ask for money, will always be made in person or via US Mail, bearing my signature, together with that of at least one warden. That said, I take this opportunity to thank all of you in your dedication to keeping your annual pledge current. This is not simply to keep our volunteer treasurer pleased, but to assure our vendors that we are credit-worthy.

* EASTER FLOWERS: The chairperson of the Altar Guild reminded us today at vestry that donations for Easter flowers are being accepted. High Holy Days, such as Easter, are an appropriate occasion to remember those, both living and deceased, who have been influential in our private and parochial lives. Names will be printed in our Easter Bulletin.

* VESTRY SUMMARY: The vestry met today. Your/our vestry are dedicated members who are devoted to the life and ministry of the parish. Today’s meeting dealt with issues which have come to the front due to Covid-19. At the same time, we continue not to lose sight of our commitment to secure the future of the parish for those generations which we shall not see, just as we are the future, which previous generation never experienced. One decision deserves further explanation here, as it impacts our core activity, namely worship. The vestry, acknowledging the update from our bishops re: guidelines in the pandemic, has decided:

a. Communion will continue to be offered in one kind only, namely the bread. Neither the Common Cup nor intinction will be offered.

b. Masks will not be required. However, we will continue to urge worshippers to use face coverings and observe social distance, even as one comes forward to receive communion. Masks should be worn, while singing. No one will be turned away from worship, who does not wear a mask. We will respect personal decisions.

c. Feeling ill: Should you feel ill, even with a non-Covid-19 ailment, you are urged to stay home.

d. Further preventions: The vestry, following the recommendations of our bishops, urges all to become vaccinated and, when available and appropriate, to become boosted. This is a precautionary reminder, even as 100% of our congregation—those in attendance at in-person liturgy—have been fully vaccinated and boosted.

SUNDAY, 10 APRIL, 10:00 a.m.
Distribution of Palms and Celebration of Holy Eucharist

Celebration of Holy Eucharist

EASTER DAY, SUNDAY, 17 APRIL , 10:00 a.m.
Celebration of Holy Eucharist

Please enter these dates and times into your personal diary. But note as well: Should you not be able to attend any of these in-person liturgies, personal visits can be arranged and are gladly offered. A visit during Easter Week is appropriate. NB.: Because of the pandemic, as we have not during these last two years, so shall we this year not celebrate an agape meal prior to the traditional Maundy Thursday evening Celebration of the Last Supper and stripping of the altars.

Of your charity, I bid you pray for all who are ill, homeless, unemployed, and abandoned, but especially for the people of Ukraine during this time of aggression against their nation.

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one God; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. 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 among you, and remain with you, and those whom you love, for ever. Amen.

Your fellow traveler in The Way,