Pastoral Thoughts From Your Interim Rector

Dear Friends of St. Andrew’s,

I truly hope this message finds you well. I know that for some of you this can be a very trying time. Isn’t it ironic how so often we say that we wish we could slow down and catch up on things at home? But, of course, not under these circumstances. Also, I find it interesting how we talk about how we should expand our definition of “church” such that we don’t automatically associate it with a place or building. So here is our chance to stretch our imaginations and find new ways to support each other in a time of real need and find creative ways to express our ministries given the strange circumstances we find ourselves in. Our Administration and Communications Council will be coordinating these efforts. We are inviting you to give us your ideas and let us know what might be helpful. Whereas our weekly newsletter has primarily been about sharing information, we may feel the need to broaden its use to include pastoral care messages or even virtual worship services if you would find this helpful. We welcome your suggestions.

As you can see further down in this message how our Pastoral council is making an effort to stay in touch by phone or mail to all our congregation especially those who may have a particular need. We hope this will be supportive.

Also, I asked Tabetha to include this Poem entitled “Pandemic”  I think it speaks to how we may take what we all face as an opportunity to enrich our spiritual lives.  Please know that we all are never alone even though we may feel like we are on our individual journeys. Together was can find our way through this.

Yours in Christ,
John

PANDEMIC

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
 
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
 
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
 
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

From the Pastoral Care Ministry

The Pastoral Care Ministry is committed to keeping in touch with our Parish members during this time of uncertainty.  We may be separated physically but our aim is to stay connected via phone, email, text, and postcards!  So expect some form of communication from our Pastoral Care team and vestry on a weekly basis.  We just want to check in, see how you’re doing, update you on what is going on with our schedule (as much as we know) and have some good old fashioned conversation!  I know that I’ve been anxious these past few days and I believe we can help each other temper the anxiety by staying in touch and checking in with each other.  We’re looking forward to talking to you!

Virtual Services

We have two resources for you this week that might be soothing to the spirit …. 

  • The Washington National Cathedral will webcast their Sunday am services at 11:15 am EST. You can watch it live from Youtube here: youtube.com/wncathedral or from their Weekly Services page here: 
    https://cathedral.org/worship/weekly-services/
  • Habits of Grace: An Invitation for you, from Presiding Bishop Curry. Live mediations posted HERE every Monday at 6pm through May, 

Note from the Communications & Administration Ministry

It is especially apparent during strange times like these how much we need fellowship and connection. As we begin exploring what church looks like outside of the church (digitally, virtually, etc), we really want to encourage you to share your ideas. Our goal is not only to support your faithful practices but ensure that you continue to feel connected to the Parish community as we walk these new pathways. Please email Tabetha at tabismiles@gmail.com or hit reply to this email to share your thoughts. 

Also, please note that we will continue to update our website and Facebook with the latest information.