Bishop Santosh Marray Holy Week and Easter Season Pastoral Letter
Our beloved diocesan family,
I always write to reassure you of the love and care I have for you, more especially during this public health pandemic. The national and international community without exception is experiencing an unprecedented health care phenomenon. Every sector of human life is facing massive disruption that is testing the core of our faith, our mental, physical, emotional, psychological and financial capacity and endurance. However, God’s people are shaped and formed to be resolute, resilient and persevering. The good news is we are fortified with grace that comes from a loving and caring God. A God whose very character is distinguished by perseverance and determination to conquer any vice or enemy directed toward the beloved community.
We are in the Season of Holy Week which ultimately leads into the Season of Easter with the timeless message of new life and new beginnings exemplified by our Savior Jesus. He is ALIVE and because of this we are more hopeful. God’s reassurance of Hope is the antidote against all falsehood and fear. Ultimately this ‘invisible enemy’, COVID-19, will be conquered and at the end of it we shall emerge a stronger and better people. Hopefully, more of us will embrace the fruit of contemplative discipline and an appreciation for the importance of enjoying solitude with God. The prophet Zechariah 9: 12, describes God’s people as ‘prisoners of hope’. We are characterized by an indefatigable quality that surpasses human understanding. In order to fruitfully navigate this enemy, we must ‘dig deep’ to draw from the reservoir of patience, tolerance and self-control.
Beloved, we must address this public health crisis as a united Community of Faith, resolute in our determination, resilient in our collective approach, and fortified in our faith - with unwavering confidence and unequivocal trust in God. We shall do this together, loving our neighbor as ourselves, taking care of each other and, by observing directives issued by national, state and local authorities. I wish to re-emphasize the directive to stay at home except for critical reasons or essential purposes.
A POEM FOR THESE TIMES
"LOCKDOWN" (Author Unknown)
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise you can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet the sky is no longer thick with fumes but blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi people are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighbourhood so that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality.
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESOURCES
to visit the Covid-19 section of our website for resources and information. In this time of uncertainty with COVID-19, there are so many things that affect us that often we are overwhelmed by all the aspects that we must deal with. Personal and family health, accessibility to basic food and supplies, church worship, church family connections, isolation, work, and of course finances. We all are family. At our Diocesan office, we are working hard to help you through these times. Yes, our office has been closed following the guidelines given to us by the State of Maryland and health officials, but our staff is working harder than ever. Most of us are working from our homes with some small exceptions for essential operations that need to be done on site. You can still reach us by phone although it is being answered remotely. You can reach us by e-mail, and we will be monitoring this as much as possible. We are committed to help you any way we can.
NOON DAY PRAYER
Please join the Diocese of Easton in daily noonday prayer. With the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and our need to stay at home for the duration of this crisis, and in response to the invitation from both the Presiding Bishop and the Archbishop of Canterbury, requesting the Anglican Communion and Episcopal Church to pray the Lord’s Prayer at noon for Lent. The liturgy has been slightly modified in order to join with the rest of the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion as we all say the Lord’s Prayer together first. The Diocese of Easton will be offering noonday prayer every weekday,
Monday thru Friday on
Facebook now until April 24th. This decision includes two extra weeks than we were invited to pray it. We are encouraging clergy and deacons postulants to sign up to lead one of the days assigned for Noonday Prayers. Please join us by
daily at 11:55am. Please take a moment in order to join with others from around the diocese as we lift our thoughts and concerns to God in prayer.
CARES Act and OTHER FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR CONGREGATIONS
Visit our website for information on provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“the CARES Act”) that could possibly be of interest to church plans, ministries and plan members as they are currently understood on March 30, 2020. Updates will be added to our website as they come in.
Click here for financial resources.
Church at home directory of live streams
“Even if we cannot gather with our church community, we can pray with our church. We can pray together online. We can pray at the same time. We can pray knowing that somewhere in the world, others are saying the same prayers we are. We can pray knowing that we are always joined in prayer with the company of heaven. When we pray, we are never alone.” – Scott Gunn, Forward Movement
A Prayer for When You Cannot Attend Worship
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, proclaim your resurrection and 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.
–The Prayer Book for the Armed Forces (1988)
HABITS OF GRACE
An invitation for you, from Presiding Bishop Curry.
As we learn how to adjust our lives given the reality of the coronavirus and the request to do our part to slow its spread by practicing social distancing, I invite you to join me each week to take a moment to cultivate a ‘habit of grace.’ A
new meditation will be posted on Mondays
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Word to the Church: On Our Theology of Worship:
A word to the Church regarding the theology of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church:
Dear Friends in Christ Jesus,
We find ourselves in the strange position of fasting from physical gathering for worship of almighty God, not out of sloth or disobedience, but in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, for whom the primacy of love for God and neighbor is the way of life. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, refraining from physically gathering together to hear God’s holy word and receiving the sacrament of holy communion is itself an act of love for God and our neighbor.
As one of our spiritual ancestors once cried, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” (Psalm 137). How shall we sing the Lord’s song in this alien and strange land of COVID-19? How shall we conduct the public worship of Almighty God? How shall we provide pastoral ministrations to people who are sick, dying, and any in need? How shall we baptize? Ordain? How? I thank God for the bishops, priests, deacons, and the whole people of God who have been faithfully seeking ways to sing the Lord’s song in ways that truly worship God and simultaneously help to heal and protect human life
Read Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's full letter here.
The Episcopal Church offers digital access to
Holy Week and Easter Services:
The Episcopal Church invites all to virtually join the congregation of
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church
in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, for a rebroadcast of their 2018 Holy Week services with the addition of new sermons, beginning with the Maundy Thursday service on April 9 through the Great Vigil of Easter on April 11, 2020. On Easter Sunday, the Office of Communication will live stream the service at the Washington National Cathedral. Consistent with his call for churches to practice physical distancing at this time, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, will offer his Easter sermon via a video recorded earlier in the week. Additional offerings include sermons recorded by Bishop Curry for Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday. Please
to see additional program offerings and information on how to access each service or stand-alone sermon.
Bishop San and Lynn will be celebrating Easter Eucharist with The Rev. David Michaud at St. Peter's Church in Salisbury. The Easter service will be live streamed beginning at 10:00 am on St. Peter's
Or you may view the video later via those same links. For other video and live stream options from around the Diocese visit our
The Bishop was excited to hear from Christ Church Kent Island in regards to the immense impact the Episcopal Church is having in Queen Anne's County. Even though they cannot gather for public worship their outreach continues, touching the lives of more than 250 families with children weekly.
Read all about it by click here.
Thank you for your continued support of the mission and ministries of our Diocese.
Camp Wright Corner:
COVID-19 and Summer Camp
Dear Camp Families,
Each day, I keep hoping and expecting that we will soon have more information about the impacts of COVID- 19 (Novel Coronavirus) on Camp Wright's program for the 2020 season.Unfortunately, like many of you, we are still waiting for official guidance from local authorities on what our next steps are and for what this summer will look like.
I want you to know that preparations for the 2020 season are well underway. We are hiring counselors, dreaming up new activities, working on our faith formation program and getting all the pieces in place for another fantastic summer at Camp Wright. We are washing our hands, we are working from home, and we are praying for a quick resolution to this global crisis.
Retreat House Happenings:
Tuesday, April 14th @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 2:00pm on Tuesday, repeating until April 28, 2020
A Cup of Tea
- Drinking tea and sharing our hearts has long been a regular thing at The Retreat House. Please join us in this during the month of April, “virtually” coming together for conversation, reflection and a little prayer over a cup of tea.
More info here.
Wednesday, April 8th @ 5:45 - 6:15 p.m.
Please join us on Zoom for a time of focused prayer and contemplation. All are welcome!
More info here.
Prayers for Reconciliation, Forgiveness & Transformation
Prayers for Those Impacted by Addiction
Weekly AA Meetings
are now on Zoom.
To attend, go to
, enter Meeting ID 815-507-922 for any of the following meetings:
Fridays 7:30 pm Saturdays (Women's) 7:00 pm Sundays 5:30 pm
We pray for continued healing and comfort for the following people and their families:
The Rev. Kevin Cross, Rector, Church of the Holy Trinity, Oxford.
Sandra Marray, Sister of Bishop Santosh Marray
The Rev. Pete Stanton
Dee Rinehart, Director of the Bishops Institute
Submit prayer requests to email@example.com. Names are listed for four weeks unless otherwise specified.
Diocesan Prayer Calendar:
Easter Day (April 12th):
We give thanks for the witness of God’s people at Trinity, Elkton, and St. Stephen’s, Earleville, and their Rector, the Rev. Dr. Nicholas Sichangi, his spouse, Jane and their sons Christopher, Dennis, and Hudson.
Second Sunday of Easter (April 19th):
We give thanks for the witness of God’s people at Shrewsbury Parish, Kennedyville, and for the Rev. Henry Sabetti and his spouse, Lisa; for the Rev. Stephen Klingelhofer and his wife, Diane, and for the Rev. Tom Sinnott and his spouse, Ileana.
For additional weeks, please visit our