In this time when we are all affected by the coronavirus, whether directly or indirectly, whether physically, biologically, psychologically, spiritually, and for many economically, it may be helpful to remember that we’re in this together.—Presiding Bishop Curry
We are truly one human family. Our interconnection with neighbors near and far, global and personal is felt because of Cornavirus.
I want to say two things, Coronavirus can be mitigated through our personal actions which will save lives, and in this crisis we can display our love of our neighbors as ourselves in outreaching actions. So in that spirit this is the plan going forward at St James the Less.
Sunday Public Worship is Suspended
Bishop Lee has mandated that Sunday worship be cancelled through the month of March.
2. While I will be at the church on Sunday in case anyone shows up, I do need your help getting the word out, please pass this information on to others who might not check email or use a computer in our community.
In person parish meetings, groups and retreats are cancelled through March. Consider having meetings through conference calls and video meetings.
4. Mission to the most vulnerable in our communities continues. In the coming days I will learn more specifics about our ministry partnership with A Just Harvest.We already know that The Grove Nursing Home is closed to visitors, but needs our continued creative outreaching care. And the Northfield Food Pantry no doubt will need extra donations while students are home and families may be unable to work.
During our Time Apart We Can Stay Connected
- Don't take Sunday off. Worship with thousands of Episcopalians by joining a live stream video coverage at the National Cathedral
2. Additionally each Sunday the preacher for St James the Less will offer a bible study. This Sunday I will send out an all parish email bible study and meditation.
March 22nd Rev. Tommy will offer a Bible Study at 10am through WebX video/ phone call. This technology through Rush Hospital will allow many many parishioners to gather at one time by phone or on their computers with Tommy and enjoy a bible study together.
March 29th one of the newest priests in our diocese The Rev. Shawn Evelyn will also conduct a WebX bible study on Sunday morning at 10am.
3. Parish Staff and I are still working our normal hours. I am available for pastoral visits and calls.
4. Vestry Staff and I will be considering ways to care for the most vulnerable in our communities. We want your thoughts and ideas.
Don't Neglect Care for Your Neighbors Who are Homebound, in Retirement Communities and Nursing Facilities.
Each of us have a sphere of influence; people we know very well and people we do not know well but are in our acquaintance. Spend some time recalling people you know who might be shut in. The isolation is harsh on us especially when we are elderly.
1. Reach out in appropriate ways to care for each other. Not spreading the virus is of prime importance, but does not keep us from reaching out by phone, care packages, and letters.
2. There may even be people who have real physical needs. If you recognize someone in need please let the parish office know and we may be able to help.
3. Our parish alone has quite a long list of people who are “homebound” and if you would like to partner with me to reach out, I will be glad for the support.
Finally, Bishop Curry’s words help us define this crisis from our Christian calling :
We are all part of a big family. Bigger than our biological families, bigger than our immediate families, bigger than our congregations, bigger than our dioceses, bigger than our cities, our states, our nation.
Just over the weekend the head of the World Health Organization, said this, and I quote, “We have seen this coming for years. Now is the time to act. This is not a drill. This epidemic can be pushed back, but only with collective, coordinated, and comprehensive approach by us all.”
We are part of the human family of God. Jesus came to show us that his way of love is the way of life. It’s God’s human family.
It takes us all. We are in this together.
We can walk through this together, and we will find our way in our life together.
With you in the journey,