grace church
the episcopal church in galena, IL
Saturday Afternoon Greetings,

It feels very strange not to be looking forward to worship together on the 3rd Sunday of Lent and beyond. Some have likened our situation to a different kind of Lenten discipline--a fast from public worship, eucharist, and fellowship. Thinking of it in this way has been helpful to me, for we are doing this in the interest of our entire community--our world, not simply for our own safety. In the hope of impacting the spread of this virus by slowing it and making it more manageable, we have the well-being of others, including our healthcare professionals at heart. Even if it seems like we may not be at immediate risk, with the lack of solid information at hand, we are compelled to act now as our bishops have made these difficult decisions.
     One colleague recently posted this pertinent quote from a former Archbishop (of Canterbury,   

An army does not exist for the soldiers who compose it; you ask them! An army exists for the sake of the nation to which the soldiers belong. It is not for their sake that there is an army; it is for the sake of the nation and the cause which it has espoused. So the Church exists in the first place, not for us who are its members, but for the Kingdom of God.
-- William Temple, 1918
Today, I am updating the announcements in our recent e-Blast, recognizing that everything is not fully known and planned, and that further changes may follow. But this is what we know at this time. I appreciate your patience and also each of your efforts to keep connected to one another in creative ways. I do want to have a central source of information to reduce any confusion and manage the rumor mill. That source is me--preferably through text or e-mail so that there will be a written record to keep my brain on track. But I am open to calls on my cell phone--773-988-3497. Please use that number as presence in the church office will be sporadic. Below you will find the current status in the Frequently Asked Questions. Then there are Resources with links to online worship in various places at different times. Included is Bp. Curry preaching at Washington National Cathedral. It would be a good thing to see how Episcopal worship takes place in different places! 
Please stay well! Check in with each other. And keep on praying!  
Q: Are church services cancelled for this Sunday? 
A: YES. On Thursday evening, Bishop Lee sent an email to all clergy instructing us to cancel public worship services until further notice. However, since he knew it would be difficult to reach everyone before Sunday, he has asked us to open our doors and hold services this week only for those who did not receive notification that services are cancelled. Bottom line: Please stay home this Sunday and until further notice!
Q: Will the services be live-streamed? Can I participate in worship virtually?
A: At Grace, there will not be live-streamed worship--at least not immediately as there are technical details to solve before that would be possible. However, Linda and I plan to record Morning Prayer tomorrow and post it later in the day on the website and Facebook page.
     Also, there are links in the next section to live-streamed services that you can access.  Beginning on Sunday, March 22, Bishop Lee will offer online worship on Sunday mornings via a link that will be posted on the diocesan website, on social media, and in the email newsletter.
Q: If I don't connect with livestreamed services, what other resources are there for worship?
A: The Book of Common Prayer is online and can be found here. On the left side of the page are a series of links to different services. Click on The Daily Office, then go to Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families where there are short services for various times of the day.  
Another colleague shared this prayer from the Prayer Book of the Armed Forces for times when one cannot attend worship or receive the sacrament: 
In union, O Lord, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated. I desire to offer you praise and thanksgiving. I remember your death, Lord Christ; I proclaim your resurrection; I await your coming in glory. And since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and the life to come. Amen.
Q: How are people who are physically isolated because of the coronavirus being cared for? Do we have a list of people who would like to receive phone calls on Sunday? What if they need assistance like medications delivered to them? How can I help?
A: Our Ministry of Care is making certain that one of our ministers will be in contact with each of our most vulnerable members. If you are aware of other needs, please contact me or Bonnielynn Kreiser. If you are available to make deliveries, send that info by e-mail to Bonnielynn.   
Q: Will the usual weekly events take place? 
A: Wednesday worship, Bible Study, Cursillo group, Friday Centering Prayer, and Saturday choir rehearsals are cancelled. We are attempting to set up ways to meet online. Further info to follow.  
March 15:
  • PB Curry preaches at Washington National Cathedral at 11:15 am EDT. You may access the livestream on the  national
  • Grace Cathedral, San Francisco at 11 am PDT at grace
  • Trinity Wall Street, NY City, 11:15 am or 12:05 pm EDT at trinity
Closer to home: All Saints Chicago on Facebook Live

If you are unsure of how to access this virtual service, follow these steps:
  • If you are not on FB, create an account.
  • "Like" our FB page.
  • The livestream will begin at approximately 8:55 am on Sunday. If you're "liked" the All Saints' FB page, you should receive a FB notification telling you we are LIVE. Or, you can simply go to our FB page at that time and click on the video.
  • If you don't want to view the service live, the video will remain on our FB page for 24 hours.
Finally, for Bp. Lee's letters, go to the diocesan website home page and scroll down to bpletters.