Parish Plans for Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter

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Dear St. Francis family and friends,

GOD IS GOOD … ALL THE TIME!

ALL THE TIME … GOD IS GOOD!

In the midst of this pandemic, bringing changes and hardships which challenge us in so many ways, there is one thing that remains unchanged … God’s love for us! As all of us continue to live through this particularly bad time in world history, we can hang onto the certainty and hope of God’s love.

For Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Day, our online worship will continue with a scripture reading, homily, and prayers. I will also continue to send a link to the worship services at our Washington National Cathedral. Our recordings give you an opportunity to visit our Sanctuary remotely, and joining with the National Cathedral in its services unites us with our brother and sister Episcopalians throughout the country.

Specifically for Palm Sunday, here is a link sent to us by Alice Brooker which provides a wonderful way for each of us to celebrate Palm Sunday at our individual homes. Our bishop has asked that none of our churches have “drive through” distribution of either palm crosses or Holy Communion, so there is no way for us to get crosses to you on Palm Sunday. Many of you have kept crosses from Palm Sundays past. Keep in mind that they are still blessed and, on Palm Sunday, let them speak to you. If you’ve never received a palm or palm cross on Palm Sunday, I always have some extras stored away and I can get you one once our Season of Sheltering is finally over. As of today, we have no idea when that may be. It seems that on a daily basis the news reports change. For now, our bishop has asked that our churches remain closed for public worship throughout April.

Until ordered otherwise by Governor Henry McMaster, our church office remains open. You can reach Brenda during the day at 803-345-1550 and you can reach me at all times at 803-932-8456. Also please remember that we are happy to place ANYONE on our parish prayer list, so if you have friends or neighbors in need of prayer, send those names to either myself or Brenda in an email or via phone call.

I will send out an email tomorrow with the link to our Palm Sunday worship. If you would like to find the readings in advance, you can go to LectionaryPage.net and click on the link for Palm Sunday.

And finally, finances. The coming weeks and, I suspect months, are going to be difficult for most of us. Like our individual families, St. Francis Church will continue to have financial obligations to meet. Here is a message from John Edgerton, our Vestry Liaison for Finance:

I hope this message finds you well and not overly stressed by the Covid-19 situation in which we currently find ourselves. While we are all vigilantly practicing social distancing, I wanted to make you aware of a new option for online giving.

Under our stfrancischapin.org website’s main menu, the “Give” option now supports online giving using PayPal or your favorite credit card. Options available at this time are One Time, Recurring or Memorial gifts. The One Time and Recurring options can be directed to either Pledge or to Gifts No Pledge.  A direct link to the “Give” option is shown below:

https://stfrancischapin.org/give/

Development of this new functionality started long before anyone knew about Covid-19 so please know this is not being offered in response to our current situation. Since many of you may find this convenient under normal circumstances, it may be especially convenient at this time.

Also, please understand this is being offered as a convenience for those who are so inclined. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to change their method of giving unless they find it helpful or convenient to use the online method.

Please take care of yourselves and each other until we can all be together again!

John Edgerton
Vestry Finance Liaison

May God bless and keep us all,

Fr. Manning

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