Dear St. Francis Family and Friends,
According to our church’s response to COVID-19, we have now been “staying at home” (sheltering in place) for a month. Cases begin to appear much closer to home and, as they do, tensions rise. Yet since we do not see multiple and obvious cases around us, the tensions of remaining housebound also rise. Surely it can’t be that bad, is it? Yes, it is.
As I am on “staycation,” there is no recording this week. In its place, though, is a message from Dr. Phil Steude, recently-retired psychiatrist, faithful member of St. Francis, and your Vestry Liaison for Pastoral Care. And, as usual, here is a link to the worship offerings at our Washington National Cathedral.
Everyone shelter at home as much as possible and stay safe and healthy!
May all be for the Glory of God.
God is good … all the time!
I am scared. We are all scared. If we aren’t, we are in denial. Faith does not prevent fear, but puts it in perspective and lessens the ability of fear to keep us from focusing on God’s continued presence and His will for us to be active Christians in a broken world.
Meredith Boyd is the coordinator, and I the Vestry representative of Pastoral Care. We have struggled with how to function with covid19 and social distancing. Usual functions like hospitality, Eucharistic ministers, touch base, and such are inappropriate. However, please let us know who needs on the prayer list to be broadcast each Sunday, and who would benefit from a prayer shawl or cards during these difficult times. Know also that we have parish chaplains available, including Meredith Boyd, Roger Banta, and of course Father Slaven and Deacon Ann, and I am available for spiritual direction.
Most of us are independent-minded people, and it is hard to ask for help, especially for ourselves. Keep in mind that independent is a contraction of interdependent. For example, we are acutely aware of being dependent on truckers and stores for toilet paper, and restaurant servers whom we normally depend on are dependent on our dependency on them.
I learned years ago in the midst of a major personal crisis that in my depending on Betsy Libbey, our priest at the time, that my opening up to her with my fears and needs, that she felt honored in that. And so it is. I feel honored when people with a need ask me to help, whether it is my neighbor with a woodworking question or something more serious. We are being called to serve them as Jesus, and God is in the midst. Shared joy is double. Shared negative feelings are halved. So please don’t be stronger alone than you have to be. Social distancing has the risk of our church family living together alone. Reach out to each other or contact one of the aforementioned people. Live into the full meaning of being the family of Christ.
That may be good that comes out of this horrible virus, and the realization that black, Red, Hispanic, Russian, Chinese or white, that we are in this together, not separate.
Sincerely, your brother in Christ,