Well, between online services, social distancing, and tornado watches it was a very strange Easter, but Easter nonetheless. I am grateful to those who ensured we had beautiful Holy Week and Easter services despite the circumstances. Thanks to Claudia Gimson, for producing all the bulletins; to Cameron Carey for the beautiful music, all videoed ahead of time; and to Jon Throop, Quinn Changus, and Joseph Henry Monti for the pre-videoed solos. And a special thanks to Joe Monti for serving as lector, altar and flower guild, and congregation for every service, and to Joseph Henry and his videography/technology skills, I know he’d rather be at school right now, but I don’t know what we would do without him!
I had some good news to announce yesterday. We exceeded our goal to raise $25,000 for RIP Medical Debt during Lent. As of Saturday, our total was $27,890. We will add to that $25,000 from our outreach endowment funds, for a total of $52,890! That means that we will be able to forgive almost $5.3 million of medical debt for Atlanta families. Thank you to everyone in and out of our community who helped make this possible. Medical debt is going to be an even greater issue in the months ahead with this pandemic. This gift could not have come at a better time.
We will be resuming our “normal” pandemic worship schedule this evening. That means Night Prayers at 8 p.m. Monday-Friday and Eucharist at 10 am Sundays. Today I have put together a hybrid service combining Compline from our prayer book and NIght Prayers from the New Zealand Prayer Book. Join us tonight at 8.
Finally, I leave you with this Easter poem, shared with me by Sara Thomas. Thanks Sara!
See you tonight at 8.
How the Virus Stole Easter By Kristi Bothur With a nod to Dr. Seuss Twas late in ‘19 when the virus began bringing chaos and fear to all people, each land. People were sick, hospitals full, doctors overwhelmed, no one in school. As winter gave way to the promise of spring, The virus raged on, touching peasant and king. People hid in their homes from the enemy unseen. They YouTubed and Zoomed, social-distanced, and cleaned. April approached and churches were closed. “There won’t be an Easter,” the world supposed. “There won’t be church services, and egg hunts are out. No reason for new dresses when we can’t go about.” Holy Week started, as bleak as the rest. The world was focused on masks and on tests. “Easter can’t happen this year,” it proclaimed. “Online and at home, it just won’t be the same.” Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the days came and went. The virus pressed on; it just would not relent. The world woke Sunday and nothing had changed. The virus still menaced, the people, estranged. “Pooh pooh to the saints,” the world was grumbling. “They’re finding out now that no Easter is coming. “They’re just waking up! We know just what they’ll do! Their mouths will hang open a minute or two, And then all the saints will all cry boo-hoo. “That noise,” said the world, “will be something to hear.” So it paused and the world put a hand to its ear. And it did hear a sound coming through all the skies. It started down low, then it started to rise. But the sound wasn’t depressed. Why, this sound was triumphant! It couldn’t be so! But it grew with abundance! The world stared around, popping its eyes. Then it shook! What it saw was a shocking surprise! Every saint in every nation, the tall and the small, was celebrating Jesus in spite of it all! It hadn’t stopped Easter from coming! It came! Somehow or other, it came just the same! And the world with its life quite stuck in quarantine stood puzzling and puzzling. “Just how can it be?” “It came without bonnets, it came without bunnies, It came without egg hunts, cantatas, or money.” Then the world thought of something it hadn’t before. “Maybe Easter,” it thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Easter, perhaps, means a little bit more.” And what happened then? Well....the story’s not done. What will YOU do? Will you share with that one or two or more people needing hope in this night? Will you share the source of your life in this fight? The churches are empty - but so is the tomb, And Jesus is victor over death, doom, and gloom. So this year at Easter, let this be our prayer, As the virus still rages all around, everywhere. May the world see hope when it looks at God’s people. May the world see the church is not a building or steeple. May the world find Faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, May the world find Joy in a time of dejection. May 2020 be known as the year of survival, But not only that - Let it start a revival.