Dear St. Mary’s,
I’m writing you from home, looking out at the day lilies in full bloom on our front deck and the busy bird feeder in the tree. It almost feels like autumn today with the geese flying overhead (our landlord insists they are local geese) and the coolness of the morning. I love autumn, but I’m not ready yet! I want more time to pick blackberries, explore our new community on foot, and maybe even get on my bike for the first time this year!
It’s been a busy time since I’ve returned to the office at St. Mary’s. We are prepared for the re-opening this Sunday. While I was on holidays, there was a team who did a comprehensive job of making sure we are meeting the strict guidelines the Diocese has put in place. In the rehearsal in the church yesterday, all went smoothly and I want to thank those parishioners who worked long hours to ensure our safety!!
I’m excited when I think of being in the church on Sunday, celebrating the Eucharist with my community. I am also aware that there are those parishioners who do not feel comfortable with attending at this time, and those who are not able to attend. And then I feel sad. We all yearn for the day when we can gather without concern for our own or others’ health and well being. In order to involve everyone as much as is possible, we are going to record the service on Sunday. Please pray for success! We are new at doing this. Once recorded, we will upload the service and send everyone the link so they can view it. Depending on how things go, an email with the link will go out either Sunday afternoon (ideally) or Monday.
I know you will want to know that Bill Evans is receiving palliative care at home. Jan and Bill’s children and grandchildren are coming and going. Their neighbours are wonderful and today Bill is celebrating his 88th birthday out in the cul-de-sac with them. If you want to reach out to Bill and Jan, feel free to send an email or card.
Please note that I have changed my days/hours to support a balance of work and rest. I will be up in Nanoose on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays, working from home on Thursdays. KAT is in the office Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
God bless you all,
Attached you will find a copy of the approved COVID-19 Parish/Facility Safety plan for St. Mary’s. This plan was a requirement of the Diocese in order for the church to reopen. The committee spent many hours preparing the plan and the facilities. A big thank you to Don N, Elaine C, Val D, Deana T and Marg D.
Click on the link to hear “The Longest Time”- music & lyrics by Billy Joel. A social distancing sing project by the Pheonix Chamber Choir, Vancouver, April 2020. ENJOY!
And something Mary H shared:
Why go to Church?
A churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made ‘no sense’ to go to church every Sunday.
He wrote: "I've gone for 30 years now, and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons, but for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time, and the preachers and priests are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."
This started a real controversy in the Letters to the Editor column. Much to the delight of the editor, it went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
"I've been married for almost 60 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 64,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals.
But I do know this: they all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.
Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"
Thank God for our physical and our spiritual nourishment.