As indicated on the web site news section, the Bishop has cancelled all services and programs in our churches for at least the next two weeks. That means we will not have services, Communion or Morning Prayer, or programs like Bible Conversation, Book Club and Prayer Shawl ministry for the next two weeks in person in our church. We are making plans now to have Morning Prayer on line for Sundays at 9:30am. It is important to note that the churches have not ‘been closed,’ as in boarded up. We are just taking the precaution to not have groups of people gather together.
This kind of situation can test us. It can cause us to hunker down, hoard material and food, care only for those in our own family. Our reaction could result in us becoming insular and self- absorbed, thereby rejecting others just because they were unlucky and got the virus or might have the virus.
But, of course, as followers of Jesus, our response is to see that this world is connected and while we are to protect ourselves, we also must make sure that those who are vulnerable are not left behind.
We are blessed in Lucketts by the fine work of our friends at Faith Chapel who have started and keep running a food pantry, for example. Gary and Lisa Mears are examples of followers of Jesus who walk the walk and talk the talk…like Janet Lyman and Beth Newberry, members of our parish, who also work at the food pantry. We have offered to help in any way we can to make sure it is stocked for this Saturday. (Bring food to church Friday leave it in the box by the door at Church House and we’ll get it there; someone will also be at church all morning on Friday as well). Our world is connected and the food pantry is now feeding almost 50 families who depend on it to feed their families.
The ‘down-stream’ impact of the closings is something else we have to keep an eye out for. This morning I reached out to Backpack Buddies to see if we can help with kids who depend on food from school on Fridays to feed their families over the weekend (thank you for alerting us to this need Susan Lee, another who walks the walk). Think about that–children feed their families on weekends.
Times like these (oh, how often do we use this phrase?) usually bring out more good than bad. People, when others are suffering, usually rise to the occasion and help. I expect that will happen this time too.
As we have said often, our faith is not a faith that is to be lived in isolation. Our friend Jesus expects us to be ‘out there, not in here.’ It is important for us to see the world is our world, and that it is completely connected. People are dying and people who aren’t dying are suffering. It is time for us to be citizens of the world.
Each Sunday we ask God to not let us sell ourselves short. By that we mean when we are tested, we will rise to the occasion and provide what is needed as followers of Christ. Let us be careful during this terrible time. And let us be even more magnanimous than usual.
“And the king shall answer them: in as much as you did it to the least of them, you did it to me.” Matt: 25:40
Peace and all good,