Grace and Peace,
The adult forum has been exploring the book Your Faith, Your Life paired with the Catechism that is found in our Book of Common Prayer (pgs 844-862). This has been a good extension of our broader views of Christianity found in the writings of CS Lewis and NT Wright, and brings those discussions into the context of the Anglican / Episcopal expressions of Christianity.
Our discussions these past weeks have been around worship and the sacraments. The Catechism provides this definition “The sacraments are the outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace.” The two great sacraments are Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist. The other sacramental rites are Confirmation, Ordination, Holy Matrimony, Reconciliation of a Penitent, and Unction of the Sick. These are the seven sacraments of the church.
For many though, there is an eight sacrament: Coffee.
If coffee, and coffee hour, are to hold up as a sacrament then it too must be an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. So what is that?
The obvious response is that coffee, and tea for the civilized among us, is the outward and visible sign. It then follows that the inward and spiritual grace is the fellowship and communion (lower case “c”) that accompanies sharing a cup of coffee with another parishioner.
For a little more than a year we have been denied this eighth sacrament, but the wait is over. This week we will have coffee, and of course tea, available following each service. We aim to do this both safely, and warmly. We want to welcome each other while respecting that each of us has a different definition of what our ‘safe zone’ looks like.
To communicate our personal wishes red, yellow, and green wrist bands are available for everyone. Red means I am maintaining physical distancing; yellow means love to talk - at a responsible distance, and green means that handshakes and high fives are ok. You will be able to pick your color without judgement, and enjoy the level of contact that works best for you.
Please be patient as we expend our boundaries with worship and fellowship. As we navigate new options and new ways of doing what had become so familiar, let us know how it is working so we can adjust. Frankly, unlike our Book of Common Prayer, first written in 1549, and most recently updated in 1979, this environment is changing by the minute; adapt with the changes, while be comforted by the changeless prayers that we offer to an ever steady and loving God.