It was this week two years ago that the world turned upside down. At the beginning of the week a friend from Virginia told me that churches there were suspending services. I was incredulous. By the end of the week, much of our lives were shut down. Bishop Wright gave rectors permission to suspend services for that Sunday. We decided to go ahead and have church, knowing that it would be the last time we were physically together for a while — maybe even several weeks!
Two years later we have finally resumed our post-pandemic schedule. This past Sunday it was powerful to have the 8:30 parishioners gather in a circle around the altar; to be together for Sunday School, and to resume the 10:45 service. It all felt like “normal” church, and it was wonderful.
I told you on Sunday that the vestry would be discussing making a donation for Ukranian refugee relief. Last night they voted to give $20,000 from our reserve funds to Episcopal Relief and Development, which is working in conjunction with other faith organizations to help provide assistance to those fleeing the war in Ukraine. If you would like to make a donation go to www.episcopalrelief.org.
We, of course, will be offering corporate prayer for Ukraine and its people every Sunday. We also are offering a prayer of a different sort. Usually during Lent we do not have flowers in the church. This year we will have sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine, each week, offered as a prayer.
When we suspended Sunday School in March 2020, we were about to begin a series on the theology of the Episcopal funeral service, and planning your funeral. By request, we are going to pick up where we left off and offer this series beginning this Sunday at 9:30. Hope to see you there.
One of the things that people have enjoyed the most about being back at church is coffee hour. We do not have anyone signed up as hosts this week. We will have coffee, but may not have any food unless someone offers to bring something. Either way, we’ll have time to gather and talk.
Finally, a heads up that you might be a little shocked when you pull into church Sunday. As you heard from our new grounds committee several weeks ago, we have a number of trees that needed to have limbs removed, or be cut down because they were dead or sick. The same holds true for many of our shrubs. This is years’ worth of work that needed to be done — and it has all been done this week. The result is a little shocking — like having your dog shaved for the summer. But remember this is all work that needed to be done for the health of our property. And remember, like hair, it will grow back.