by Danny Schweers, Vestry Member.
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
— Matthew 18:20 —
At our last meeting on Wednesday, July 8, every vestry member was there! And, our faith assures us that Jesus was there us, too! — even though we were meeting virtually via video.
One benefit of the continuing pandemic is that each vestry member feels our service to the church matters more than ever. That is true, too, of our committees.
The Property Committee has two new co-chairs — Sandy Johnson and Cynthia Primo Martin — and the Personnel Committee also has a new chair, Bill Young. Finance may be the busiest committee of them all. Bill Kauffman continues to chair that committee with assistance from our new treasurer, Bernard Fisher. Thank them and those serving on other committees for their continued service. And thank Jesus for being there with them.
The moral? If you want to be with Jesus, attend vestry meetings! Attend committee meetings!
I know that sounds like a joke but, in all seriousness, if you want to be with Jesus, get busy doing God’s loving work if you are not already busy. God’s work is not often glamorous, it can be frustrating, it can require sacrifice, but it is always rewarding.
Not ready to join the vestry or a committee? Then pray with us!
Pray With Us!
Pat Hampton wrote and the vestry unanimously adopted the following prayer for SsAM during this time of COVID-19 pandemic:
Oh God, you have promised that when two or three are gathered in your name, you are in the midst of them. During this period of social distancing, we, your people at SsAM, are not able to gather physically, but are still gathering in the Spirit. We are praying for the safety and well-being of our family and friends; the people we serve in the community; the first responders and all essential workers, seen and unseen, and all caregivers; those who are ill and their families; and for all who have died. Inspire the governance of all human institutions to be fair, just, and impartial. Help us to not only keep the FAITH, but be FAITHFUL in the use of our time, talent and treasure in the support of our VISION, MISSION and GUIDING PRINCIPLES. We thank you for the gift of the HOLY SPIRIT to guide and comfort us during these times and always. AMEN.
Specifically, the vestry is asking you to recite this prayer every day, at either 7:00 a.m., Noon, or 7:00 p.m., when other people are saying it. A tall order! The idea is that, if we say the prayer at the same time, we will be praying together, and Jesus will be there with us.
Questions come to mind. What if you are in a different time zone and your prayer is an hour or more off? Well, I am no theological expert, but I am going to say “Yes”, you are praying with us. You will be gathered with us. Other “what ifs” come to mind. What if you find it impossible to adhere to any schedule? What if you only pray every other day? Once a week? Once ever? My answer is that you may not have the same sense of community, the same sense of praying together, as those who are more disciplined. All the same, Jesus will be there.
Look for Jesus at our Sunday Services
Similar theological thinking applies to those attending Sunday services even though they are pre-recorded and virtual. Many people watch the broadcast right at 10:00 a.m., others later. I am so fortunate that my spouse worships with me, that we lift our voices together to say the prayers and sing the hymns as we watch the video broadcasts on YouTube or Facebook every Sunday. But even alone, viewers have a sense that they are joining others in worship. Looking at the statistics for Sunday, July 12, I see there were 26 viewings on YouTube that day and 167 on Facebook, with two or more people watching some screens. That equals over 200 people watching! Was Jesus there with us? You betcha! He will be there next Sunday, too!
With Father David going on vacation for two weeks, the Rev. Canon Martha Kirkpatrick, Canon to the Ordinary, will preach on Sunday, July 26. The Rev. Canon Lloyd S. Casson will preach on Sunday, August 2.
Other Gatherings of Two or More at SsAM
- In addition to Sunday services, you are invited to the live celebrations of Morning and Evening Prayer on Facebook on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, at 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- Province III of the Episcopal Church is having a “Conversation About Race” on Monday, July 27, at 2:00 p.m. Click here to learn more about this conversation about race.
- On Sunday, August 2, at 11:15 a.m., a Town Hall Meeting will be led by the Finance Committee.
- Beginning in August, you can join Rabbi Douglas Krantz and Father David for Bible study on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m.
- Some time in August, we we gather for a virtual Coffee Hour, a time for conversation.
Please attend any and all of these gatherings.
Look for Jesus.
NOTE: This Vestry View is our way of sharing with you the issues facing SsAM. We are sending it out by email and posting it on the SsAM website, where you can find an archive of our communications. ACTION ITEM: Send us your comments and questions!
Vestry View Archive