Clergy Notes for March 22 & Update

Father Kevin returns to duties as of Sunday, March 22. Although they will be “light” duties as he is still in recovering from his fall and has to be careful about how much weight he puts on his leg. And, of course, those duties will be very different as we at St. James’ (along with every other parish in this diocese) cope with the implications of the suspension of all in-person worship and church activity.

It is still difficult to deal with the emotions that we feel about this decision and also about the many things which are taking place around us as the world grapples with COVID-19. People are anxious, or frightened — not only about the virus but also what it means for jobs, businesses, transportation, social lives and financial stability. This situation is unprecedented in modern times.

I want to offer a few things for your comfort and encouragement.

We have an excellent leadership (in both church and state). At national, provincial, and local level we have people in positions of authority who are practical, efficient and compassionate. We have a wonderful Archbishop whose communication has been timely and unambiguous.

The “miracle of modern science” (as King George V said of the invention of the wireless) means that we are able to communicate with each other in an amazing variety of ways. We are encouraging more of our parishioners to subscribe to The Thurible, our online newsletter, and are considering making more prayer and spiritual resources available that way. We will be constantly updating our website. The cathedral is going to be live streaming a Eucharist every Sunday at 10:30 AM and we are thinking about ways of doing something similar.

We are still able to connect with the ongoing worship of God in the Kingdom of Heaven. Nothing can stop that! I encourage you all to use the beginning and the end of each day to ground yourself in scripture, and psalm, prayer and praise. The reading, for morning and evening prayer are included in this newsletter.

There is a prayer printed in this newsletter which I would like you to offer regularly. It was written by a friend of mine and a fellow Anglican priest, the Reverend Jim Cotter. He wrote it out the height of the AIDS epidemic. It also serves as a reminder that “this too shall pass.”

With every blessing, Father Neil