FR. DAVID’S BLOG OF 3/20/2020; updated 3/27: I wish to review what is happening at the moment and plans for worship that will take effect this Sunday, March 22.
How one week has dramatically changed our lives with the spread of the Coronavirus here in Delaware and across the country and the world. We live in a very different world then we did just one week ago. Last Friday we were scrambling to make sense of the Governor’s State of Emergency and since that time, that order has been expanded and modified as the situation becomes more dangerous. Bishop Brown has begun to check in with the clergy every week using ZOOM. These virtual gatherings allow the bishop to update us and support us as we navigate these very troubled waters. Many clergy are giving regular updates to their parishes and this week’s E Blast serves that purpose for SsAM.
The staff is working hard during this time: I wish to applaud the difficult and faithful work of D-L Casson, David Christopher, Brenda Demby, Marlon Rochester, Mary Cooper and Cory Bell. The sextons have extra work as they are regularly disinfecting the entire physical plant to ensure its cleanliness so that we might all be safe and healthy. When you have a second please thank the staff for being here for all of us at this time. At the moment we are here but realize that at some point in the future we may be working remotely from our homes.
For the foreseeable future here is the schedule that we will follow at SsAM:
7:00 a.m. Morning Prayer, every day, Monday through Sunday.
I will offer the service of Morning Prayer on Facebook Live. You may follow the service with a copy of the Book of Common Prayer or download it at www.bcponline.org. You may also Google other online prayer book resources.
10:00 a.m. Worship Service, Sunday, March 29
Live streaming a celebration of the Holy Eucharist from SsAM. Click here to visit our Facebook page.
You do not need Facebook account to access the service. Information can be found at: http://delaware.church/how-to-link-to-a-facebook-live-video/.
I also encourage you to look at what other Episcopal parishes are offering for daily prayer services. You may do this on Facebook. I know that St. Peter’s in Lewes offers daily evening prayer and they have included our offer of morning prayer. Trinity Episcopal Parish in Wilmington is offering the beautiful service of Compline at 7:00 on their Facebook page.
Staying Connected With One Another During This Time:
Connections are vitally important at this critical time. A group of parishioners are in contact with our shut in community by phone. Our shut in population is at the most risk at this time and they are being cared for. Each week they receive a package in the mail from SsAM to help them stay connected. Bishop Brown is encouraging that we find a way to stay connected with everyone in the parish. To that end I sent a video message to the leaders of various ministries such as the choir, altar guild, acolytes, vestry, ushers and property to name a few. I have asked these leaders to be in touch with their members and then encourage members of each of these ministries to be in touch with one another via phone or email.
Fulfilling Your Pledge At This Time
During this difficult time your financial pledge is very important and I wish to encourage you to keep your pledge up to date. I realize that the closing of businesses has and will cause a financial hardship and it is important that you take care of your families and loved ones. If you already are having your pledge debited from your bank account this will continue. If you usually place your offering in the collection plate, please send your pledge to SsAM in the mail. If you would like to make a pledge you may also do so. You may also donate using a credit card through the SsAM website — CLICK HERE. These are challenging times for many in the City of Wilmington and if you would like to give to the Rector’s discretionary account so that I might help this at risk population you may also send a check to the rector’s discretionary account.
Pray Without Ceasing
Take time each day to be still and to know God. There are wonderful resources to help center during this time. You may visit the blog of our own Christina Brennan Lee at http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com as well as the wonderful and timely photo prayers by Danny Schweers at www.photoprayer.com. Our meditation and centering prayer ministry will be meeting virtually during this time. If you would like to join on Zoom please contact us and include meditation in the subject line.
At the moment we are open and serving our community by offering our public rest room and Friendship House continues to provide support daily from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. They will be modifying the Sunday breakfast by providing hardboiled eggs and coffee.
A Reflection from Fr. Richard Rohr
Fr. Richard Rohr’s reflection from Thursday was very timely and wish to close with one quote from Fr. Richard:
“We are in the midst of a highly teachable moment. There’s no doubt that this period will be referred to for the rest of our lifetimes. We have a chance to go deep, and to go broad. Globally, we’re in this together. Depth is being forced on us by great suffering, which as I like to say, always leads to great love. But for God to reach us, we have to allow suffering to wound us. Now is no time for an academic solidarity with the world. Real solidarity needs to be felt and suffered. That’s the real meaning of the word “suffer” – to allow someone else’s pain to influence us in a real way. We need to move beyond our own personal feelings and take in the whole.”
Prayer for People Critically Ill or Facing Great Uncertainty
God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.
—Adapted from New Zealand Prayer Book, p. 765
Peace and stay healthy,