August 13, 2020
InCommon E-News

In This Issue
  • Parish Voices
  • Sunday Morning Service 
  • Virtual Coffee Hour
  • Announcements and Events
  • Racial Justice
  • Responding from the Heart
  • Resources
  • Giving
Parish Voices
A Virtue of Virtual Church
By Barrett Seaman

It's 7:30 a.m. on an early summer Sunday. I am alone in the church, except for the distant sounds of Sexton Ron Lillo as he goes about his routine, cleaning and setting up Colwell Hall for the coffee hour that will follow the 10:00am service. I have my own routine: light the candles in the chapel, transport the elements from the sacristy to the altar, wend my way up to the second floor of the school to find the right cassock and surplice in the wardrobe for the service. Robed and ready to serve as Acolyte for the 8:00am service, I still have 15 minutes--time for a cup of coffee in the coolness of the McCormack Lounge before the Rector emerges from his office and we proceed into the chapel. It is my time to decompress, to put aside all thoughts and let peace wash over me.

For me, St. Barnabas is a place of peace, a place of trust, but it is really just a physical embodiment of the people who come here week after week. They comprise what I have come to call a community of trust. Now we, members of that community, have been exiled from the church by the coronavirus, left to wander in the suburban wilderness, which mostly means staying at home and donning masks to go to the supermarket.

Thankfully, by virtue of YouTube and Zoom, we remain connected. We are able to participate in the liturgy, listen to the sermon and pray for those in need from the comfort of our kitchens or dens. Afterwards, a dozen or two of us will log onto Zoom to join in a virtual coffee hour, to share news of ourselves and others. It's as if we were in Colwell Hall, but we're not. We're just Hollywood Squares on a screen. We may not even be at home. One of us, it turns out, is still at her sister's in Vermont. Another hasn't left Florida, yet, but will soon. Truth be told, it doesn't matter. We are together in spirit.

There is something to be said for being in a virtual place--"virtual" as in not real; "virtual" as in a place of virtue. It is a place where we can put aside the trappings of our physical surroundings, whether they are in a beautiful house or an elegant church--or within the confines of a nursing home or hospital room. In the end (and yes, I mean "that" end), we will all be without those trappings, both good and bad, so maybe a mild dose of disembodiment isn't a bad thing to experience.

We will one day return to the physical space of St. Barnabas, and we will no doubt rejoice in it. But I would hope that when we do, we will retain something of the spirit of our virtual sojourn of 2020.

  • Parish Office, (914) 591-8194.
  • The rector is on vacation this month. For pastoral emergencies, please call Rose Lawson (347) 920-1544 or Jody Hansen (914) 844-0601. 
Morning Prayer
Sunday, August 16, 10:00AM

Service Bulletin HERE

The link to the Online Service will be sent via email on Sunday morning. 
You will also be able to find it at the St. Barnabas YouTube page. 

Our worship services will continue online through the summer and are pre-recorded. A new streaming service will be launched in the Fall to improve the viewing and listening experience for everyone. 

Join us for Coffee Hour, immediately following Sunday worship service.

Meeting ID: 336 690 2686   / Password: 10533

One tap mobile:   +19292056099,,3366902686#,,#,10533# (NY)
Dial by your location:  +1 929 205 6099 (NY)
If you have announcements for this weekly newsletter, please email Kelli Scott at Information is due by Tuesday mornings at 8:00AM. Thank you!

Diocesan Event: Reading Kendi
In a year when books by African-American thought leaders are dominating the national bestseller lists, one author is enjoying particular acclaim: Ibram X. Kendi, winner of the National Book Award for his first book, Stamped from the Beginning. 
The Anti-Racism Committee of the Diocese of New York is inviting all 200 churches in our communities to join in reading Ibram X. Kendi's current bestseller, How To Be An Antiracist. This shared experience will include the opportunity to buy books at a special discount, to join inter-parish discussion groups (during September), and to participate in an online event (October 22) featuring the author.

Bishop Andrew Dietsche says, "Ibram X. Kendi offers an invitation to all of us and each of us to be transformed, to be enlarged, to be enriched, and to become better and more complete human beings, and more just communities." 

Learn more about this program and how you can participate by visiting Episcopal NY Reads 1 Book.


This list of local agencies supports those in need during this critical time. Food pantries are stretched and in need of monetary donations, as many seek help due to the devastating economic effects of COVID-19. For more information, contact Barbara Mahoney at 


The Bishops of the Diocese of New York offer regular inspirational messages 

The National Church also has useful resources related to the pandemic and racial reconciliation on their website here.

We hope you will keep St. Barnabas strong and resilient financially, as we navigate the ongoing challenges of this environment. Please continue to make your pledges or contributions. Online payments may be made by clicking here, on our website under the "Give" section, or by mailing your check to St. Barnabas Church, 15 N Broadway, Irvington, NY 10533.

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