What a glorious day we had in the Beech Grove yesterday. It was a perfect fall day. It was nice to see so many of you there, and to know that many more of you were watching online. The weather for this Sunday does not look promising at this point, but we will send out an RSVP link later this week with the hope that we will be able to gather both in person and online. Several of you have asked about my sermon from yesterday. It is attached.
We have just been through a momentous week and weekend with the election of a new president and vice president. Overlooked in all the election news was the sobering fact that we reached new highs in coronavirus cases, registering 120,000 new cases or more four days in a row. Medical experts say those are just confirmed cases, and we can expect the actual number to be much higher. And they warn that the increase in cases now will lead to dramatic increases in the number of deaths in the weeks ahead.
There was good news, too, with the announcement today of a possible new vaccine, and with President-elect Biden’s appointment of a new science-based coronavirus task force. It is a welcome relief to have a president who takes this pandemic seriously and who will urge all Americans to take precautions instead of urging them to come to superspreader events. That gives me hope. But in the meantime, we all need not to let down our guard, not to give in to the temptation to resume our usual activities and to get together with family and friends. With the holidays coming up I know that will be especially hard, but it is necessary.
Speaking of holidays, that season is fast upon us. At the last vestry meeting Michele Smither agreed to look into ways that we can help provide Christmas to families in need this year. Here is what she found:
For many years, St. Dunstan’s has provided Christmas gifts to Emmaus House for families who live in Peoplestown. We enjoyed choosing families, shopping for and wrapping those special gifts and delivering them to Emmaus House. We can’t do that this year because of the pandemic, but there is still a way for us to assist families who need help providing presents to their children.
Emmaus House is asking for $25 gift cards from Target, Walmart, or VISA. These cards will be given to families with children so that they can do their own shopping. There are several ways to help:
1. Donate directly to Emmaus House at www.emmaushouse.org/donate. Fill out your information, including the donation amount, and check the Holiday Gift Card Donations box. These online donations must be received by December 1.
2. Purchase gift cards and mail or drop them off at Emmaus House, 1017 Hank Aaron Drive, SW, Atlanta, 30315. Please make sure they are received by December 11.
3. Purchase the gift cards and leave them at St. Dunstan’s for delivery. If you choose this option and would like to add a teddy bear, stuffed animal, or ball to hand out to children when their families pick up the cards, we would be happy to deliver them as well. Please have these to the church by December 9.If no one is at church you can put the cards through Dunstan’s cat door in Tricia’s office and put stuffed animals or balls in the container on the deck by her door.
Thanks for your generosity in helping this hard hit community! — Michele Smither
Finally, I ask your prayers today and all this week for Bob Wolfson, who is undergoing major surgery on his neck and spine as I type this. The surgery is expected to be 10 hours long, and it began at about 8 this morning. I know Bob will need some help with meals, and perhaps dog walking, in the days ahead. I’ll let you know when there is more clarity about when he’ll be home and exactly what he needs.
The service for this week’s Compline is attached. Hope to see you tonight at 8.