Dear Fellow Seekers,
Although the past week has presented us with many changes and challenges, we are so blessed to have the leadership we do in our Episcopal Church. From the Presiding Bishop to our own Bishops Diocesan and Suffragan, we are constantly reminded that we are to love God and our neighbors. That is our primary action and it is how we identify as Christians.We must be respectful of everyone's safety. To do this in this time means to forgo what may be our own desires, and instead consider the ways we can worship together and be community.
I am suspending all activities at Grace Church until April 1, at which time the leadership and I shall reevaluate the situation. This breaks my heart. I was without communion for a long time when I was in Malaysia, and it was extremely difficult. When I was finally able to receive again, it brought me to tears.
So that we may worship together, I will be live-streaming the service on Sundays at
. I will send out the information on how to watch this on your device tomorrow. I will also post it on our website at www.gracechurchsalem.org. A copy of the service will be included with that information so that you may follow along.
So that we remain in community together, I ask that you check in with one another. Many may need things like prescriptions picked up for them as time goes on. Please keep in touch with those whom you know are alone or in need of any kind of assistance. We will continue to host the 2 AA meetings. Also, there is a problem with food scarcity in Salem often alleviated by the schools and other groups. Check with City Hall for ways you can assist our scholars with nutritious meals.
The leadership at Grace Church greatly appreciates your prayers, thoughtfulness and support during this time. We also appreciate the work Tom and Karen Tucker have done as sextons in keeping the place clean. This suspension of activity will enable them to get a good night's sleep, I am sure. As they also live at church, this is a way of keeping them safe too.
At the end of this message are some links to some sites that you may find helpful and comforting. We are so fortunate that we have each other in these times, that we are the Church. Continue your prayers and look for tomorrow's update on where to find the live stream.
Prayer for People Critically Ill or Facing Great Uncertainty
God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.
-Adapted from New Zealand Prayer Book, p. 765