Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It has only been a few days since we last met but it seems like the whole world has changed in the meantime. As a reminder, the Bishop has suspended our public worship for the next two weeks. We now know said suspension will continue through Holy Week and Easter. This is a shocking interruption to our faithful worship and leaves me stinging and disappointed. I believe, however, that Bishop Alan has made a decision that draws on common sense, expert advice, and faithfulness to our neighbors. We will not be able to worship in community for Easter. I would never have been able to imagine such a thing even weeks ago but here we are. The faithful have endured much worse. My friend and old card partner from seminary The Rev. Matt Farr recently gave an encouraging word:

"We may grieve our temporary dislocation from our accustomed places of worship, but we must remember that the early Church gestated around kitchen tables before maturing under vaulted naves. Those early Christians met in their homes out of necessity, especially during periods of fear and persecution under the likes of Decian and Diocletian. We find ourselves again huddling in our homes, this time not out of fear but for love. We are called to love our neighbor, and to love our neighbor is to will the good health of our neighbor. So we endure the painful breaking of the Body of Christ in this way. We are separated from one another physically, yes, but what will have time to grow in this time? Christ’s Body was broken for the good of the world once for all. What good will come from our brokenness? We break the Bread-Body in order to share it. What will we be able to share from this? What new life in the Church is gestating in our homes, waiting to emerge and grow in the world? We are either a Resurrection people or a dead people. In the face of disease and death and brokenness and dislocation we make our defiant song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! New life is waiting for the Church on the other side of this pandemic as it is for us on another shore."

I give thanks for my friend's true and lively words. Below are resources, ideas, and practices I hope will carry us to an unknown shore.
Yours in Faith, Hope, and Love,
Father Tom+
DRIVE IN WORSHIP
Our Lutheran brothers and sisters at First Lutheran in Milford have welcomed us to worship with them and their drive-in worship on Sunday Mornings at 9:30 AM. Worshipers will maintain social distancing regulations by staying in their cars and tuning into their FM radio transmitter. All you have to do drive in and helpers will give further directions. Here is a helpful video for your information.

The Address is:
Milford, IA 51351

ONLINE WORSHIP
Facebook Live
We have an abundance of traditional, Anglican liturgy especially Morning Prayer on our Facebook page which is also embedded on our website. We are looking for ways we can transcend Facebook and offer a stream everyone with an internet connection. Stay tuned.

Worship with the Bishop
Bishop Scarfe will be offering Sunday worship to the entire Diocese of Iowa online this Sunday and next Sunday at 10:00 am. The services will be available on our Facebook page and YouTube . People without access to a computer or smartphone can dial 312 626 6799 and enter the Meeting ID as prompted: Meeting ID: 365 765 527
ONLINE GIVING
Online Giving Has Arrived
St. Alban's depends on the generosity of it's members and friends to serve and witness. Many members are used to donating by check or cash in the collection place. If this is your practice, please consider signing up for online giving today. There are options of designating your donation toward your pledge, to the general fund, to the discretionary fund and others. Many in our community will look toward people of faith for generosity. We pray you will help us be Christ to our neighbors.
ONLINE GATHERING
Lenten Study
We will attempt to continue Lenten Study this Sunday Evening at 7:00 PM via Zoom . Zoom is a free application and program for your computer. All you need to participate is a web camera and an internet connection. If you have not attended so far, never fear! You can watch the first few videos here . We have already learned about Light, Water, and Food. This week the topic will be shelter . Feel free to come in cold, so to speak and simply join us for learning and fellowship. If you have any questions about downloading and using Zoom, please call the office at 712-336-1117 or Father Tom at 712-318-1761. Our Meeting ID will be 496-606-041
Digital Coffee Hour
Just as a fun aside, I started a private Facebook Page for St. Alban's members. I hope it can be a place we can share fun things from our lives and a place of encouragement. Also, no calories!

STAY IN TOUCH
Please stay in touch and let us know if you need help. We are the church and that's what we're here to do.
Email: office@stalbansepiscopalchurch.org
Call: 712-336-1117
Father Tom's Number: 712-318-1761
OTHER RESOURCES
From the Diocese
The Diocese has worked hard to provide us with an abundance of resources. Follow the link below.