From the Interim Rector
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

This is my second letter to you, after being Interim Rector for nearly a month (as I write, it’s almost a month). Linda and I are taking a little vacation to see our daughter, Rebecca, who lives in New York City, and son, Michael, and his family, who live in Providence, RI. We had this visit scheduled for several months, long before we knew anything about coming to St. John’s. The Vestry graciously said it would be fine to go ahead with our plans, for which we are grateful. This will be the first time we have seen Michael and his family since the beginning of the pandemic. As soon as Michael and Shayna were vaccinated (Linda and I were fully vaccinated on 12 February), we made our arrangements to visit them. Rebecca visited us in Sarasota as soon as she had been vaccinated. I’m sure many of you have similar stories to tell. What a blessing it has been once again to be able to be with our family!

As we have come out of the pandemic, more and more of pre-pandemic normalcy has emerged. The six-foot rule of social distancing is fading away, people are hugging and shaking hands again (although fist bumps also continue), every Sunday someone tells me it’s his or her first time back to church, we have real flowers on the altar once again, which after Sunday are taken to the sick and shut-in, the Vestry had its first in-person meeting in a year and a half, committees are meeting, and the list goes on. It’s as if we have been in hibernation throughout a long, long winter and are now emerging into a beautiful world of spring growth!

Some things that developed as a result of COVID will no doubt remain. The live streaming of our Sunday 10 o’clock Mass will continue, a blessing not only for those who are sick or shut-in, but also for our traveling members and those who have become a part of our parish through watching our worship from their homes in faraway places. Our more meticulous cleaning methods are here to stay as well. And, our more complete worship booklets have been found to be an aid we wish to keep.

There is something, however, that was a blessing during the pandemic, but which will be harmful to the Church if it continues. It is much easier to sit at home in one’s pajamas, with a cup of coffee at hand, to watch the service on tv, rather than to go to the trouble of getting dressed, driving to the church, finding a parking spot, and staying through the entire service, perhaps even running into that one person you don’t particularly like that much! Yet, Christian worship requires our physical attendance, “by regular participation in the public worship of the Church,” as the Sunday Canon states. Besides, when was the last time you received Holy Communion from the television?

Technology was certainly a blessing during the pandemic, but it is no substitute for the “real thing,” when we have the choice to be present or not. For the good of our souls and for the common good, it’s important for each one of us to be present on the Lord’s Day (by the way, even when we’re away, Linda and I find a church in which to worship on Sunday).

See you in church!

Faithfully in Christ,