May 12, 2021
In this edition: Concert for the Human Family; Covid-19 restriction changes; sermon by the Rev. Ray Michener; this week's blessing and scriptural commentary; Fun Fact; Did You Know?; Check it Out!; news from the diocese, Episcopal Church, and Anglican Church.
The Episcopal Church launches
Way of Love Revival Weekend with
Concert for the Human Family
Saturday, May 22
The above video is Episode 1 in a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Concert for the Human Family. At the Episcopal Church's church center in New York City, composer and pianist Kory Caudill meets with Canon Stephanie Spellers, Sandra Montes, and Jeremy Tackett to begin the process of crafting a concert experience around the Church's Becoming Beloved Community initiative and the Book of Common Prayer's Prayer for the Human Family.
Revival Weekend: One in the Spirit features church-wide virtual worship and concert, May 22 and 23
The weekend is designed to fan the flames of hope, celebrate difference, honor creation, foster beloved community, and send people toward Jesus’s Way of Love. Nashville artist Kory Caudill partners with a diverse team on this transformative, timely project — a new artistic collaboration led by the Episcopal Church and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry that explores the powerful intersection between art, justice, and faith.
The weekend of events includes the following:

  • Saturday, May 22, 6-7:30 pm: Concert for the Human Family and “From Many, One” Community Conversations 
  • Sunday, May 23, 4-5:30 pm: Churchwide Pentecost Revival Worship from Philadelphia, Navajoland, Seattle, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.
  • More information
"He Calls Us Friends"
A sermon by

the Rev. Ray Michener

offered at St. Peter's Church, Lewes
on Sunday, May 9, 2021

The video includes closing voluntary.
Major Changes to
COVID-19 Restrictions in Delaware
Capacity changes for houses of worship in Delaware
On Tuesday, May 4, Governor John Carney and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced major changes to Delaware's COVID-19 restrictions. These changes will take effect on Friday, May 21. You can view Carney's announcement and all of the major changes here.

What do these changes mean for us?
  • Beginning Pentecost Sunday, churches may be at full capacity provided three-feet social distancing is adhered to. 
  • Masks will still be required indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Outdoors, Delawareans should follow masking guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Risk for COVID-19 spread increases in large crowds that include unvaccinated people. In those cases, CDC recommends that everyone continue to wear a mask. DPH may require masks for crowded venues and large gatherings including concerts, sporting events, etc.
  • The bishop has previously announced that congregational and choir singing is now allowed as long as social distancing and mask-wearing requirements are adhered to.
  • Churches are now allowed to place prayer books and hymnals back in the church. 
NOTE TO CLERGY: More protocol details from Bishop Brown and the New Normal Task Force will be coming via Clergy Focus eNewsletter later today.
Global Vaccine Access webinar highlights challenges, opportunities
A webinar on global vaccine access hosted by The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations is available for viewing here. More information here.

Fun Fact

Question: Who was the first recorded Anglican clergyman in Delaware, and when was he accepted as such?

Clue: He took up residence in New Castle.

Answer: Here
This Week's Global Blessing of God
and Visual Commentary on Scripture
The lyrics of the blessing of God are based upon Num. 6:24-26, Deut. 6:9, Ps. 118:6-7, Ps.121:8, Ezek. 36:9, and Rom. 8:31. This week's blessing comes to us from Sweden. You may see this joyful version here, or by clicking on the arrow above.
This is the earliest icon that established the iconography of the Ascension. The iconographer is trying to capture a liturgical event, not an historical scene.You may see/read the visual commentary on the Ascension, here.
Last Sunday was Mothers' Day
a day to celebrate all mother figures in our lives
Did you know?
Mothering Sunday
Mothers' Day is a particularly American invention, born out of the British Mothering Sunday, whose original inception had nothing to do with mothers, but rather referred to the mother church. More information
Check it out!
Mothers' Day
Cantus is a men's vocal ensemble based in Minneapolis, with the vision of giving voice to shared human experiences. Here they sing Bobby McFerrin's beautiful arrangement of the 23rd Psalm, dedicated to his mother.
Cycle of Prayer in the Episcopal Church in Delaware
This week (week of May 9), in our diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we hold up in prayer the St. James Church, Newport, the Rev. Sarah L. J. Nelson, pastor, and the Rev. Deacon Dorothy Vuono. For the 2020-2021 diocesan Cycle of Prayer click here.
News in our parishes and community
A Climate Conversation: Youth, Faith, and Climate Action! Sunday, May 16, 3pm
Co-hosted by the Episcopal Church in Delaware and Delaware Interfaith Power & Light, this Zoom conversation with youth will raise questions: What images come to mind when you think about climate change? Whose voices do you trust on the issue? What does the church teach in regards to caring for creation? What are your greatest fears related to climate change and the health of our natural environment? What/Who inspires you, motivates you, and gives you hope?
Register here. Complete survey here.
Choir School of Delaware, Summer Camp Musical
This summer the Choir School of Delaware will be putting on its first-ever camp musical, Sister Act. Students entering grades 5-12 are eligible to enroll. Students will have the opportunity to work with our region's most accomplished musicians, theater directors, and choreographers while putting together this wonderful production. Informal auditions are required. Additionally, campers will also have opportunities for:
  • Academic enrichment provided by our partners at Serviam Academy
  • PSAT and SAT Prep facilitated by Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc.
  • Fun field trips, swimming, arts & crafts, games, activities, and more!
Due to the pandemic and social distancing precautions, space is limited. The Choir School will work with families that demonstrate financial need and will not allow financial barriers to exclude students from this opportunity for growth and development. Enroll here.
News from the Episcopal Church
Episcopal Migration Ministries offers virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day
Sunday, June 20, 7–8pm
Offering solidarity and support for refugees worldwide, Episcopal Migration Ministries will host a virtual prayer vigil for World Refugee Day on All are welcome to join this gathering in recognition of those forced to leave their homes and seek new beginnings elsewhere. More information
A Year in the Life
This was filmed throughout the pandemic using COVID-safe protocols, explores how Episcopal schools, ministries, and congregations have adapted to the challenges of the year – from food insecurity to calls for racial justice to worship through restrictions – and more. In this second episode, we visit Christ Episcopal Church in Westerly, R.I. Throughout the manifold challenges throughout the pandemic – illness, political and racialized violence, and death – the Church also faced a particular issue: how to gather when it was no longer safe to physically do so. Fr. Sunil Chandy of Christ Church helped his congregation to dynamically change gears – bringing our ancient, venerable, and deeply sensory worship to a still-connected, spiritually hungry, global audience. Visit our blogpost for this episode: Journey through East Carolina, by Emily Gowdy Canady, Missioner for Lifelong Christian Formation. Watch A Year in the Life here.
United Thank Offering: $479,369.53 awarded for second cycle of Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion COVID-19 grants
At its April 2021 meeting, the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church approved United Thank Offering (UTO) grants to support 16 Episcopal Church and eight Anglican Communion missions and ministries, in its second round of COVID-19-related mission and ministry funding. Three historical grants were also awarded for projects that fall outside the regular parameters of the granting process but within the historical practices of UTO. More information
Episcopal Church Releases Racial Justice Audit of Leaders
Report offers insights into race and power in the church. After two years and more than 1,300 surveys, the ground-breaking Racial Justice Audit of Episcopal Leadership is now available to the wider church and public. The audit identifies nine patterns of systemic racism – ranging from the historical context of church leadership to current power dynamics -- that will also be highlighted in three public webinars in May and June. More information in English and Spanish here
The Episcopal Church’s Tell Me Something Good series launches second season, watch here
Tell Me Something Good, a web series from The Episcopal Church that launched in the fall of 2020, returns for a second season. This series highlights positive stories from around the church through conversations with a variety of guests. More information
2021 Theology of Gratitude Scholars Conference: Calls for Proposals, October 15-17
United Thank Offering (UTO), along with the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul in Boston, will host the second annual Theology of Gratitude Conference. More information
News from the Anglican Communion
Preaching the Gospel of John with Saint Augustine:
A Master Class with Rowan Williams and John Cavadini, Webinar June 8, 11am
Sponsored by the Living Church Institute, New City Press, and the McGrath Institute at Notre Dame. 
New IASCUFO Papers 3 and 4: God So Loved the World
The Inter-Anglican Standing Committee on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) has released two new occasional papers, which are available under the joint title “God So Loved the World”.
IASCUFO Paper 3, “Created in the Image of God”, presents an Anglican theological understanding of what it is to be human. This is a statement that is both beautiful and profound. It states why people matter. It says that humans have a God-given dignity, and that to fail to acknowledge human dignity opens the way to many of the evil and violent things that afflict humanity. The paper sets out the importance of Christ for understanding why justice matters, both for creation, and for all people. It is a theological vision with massive moral implications.
IASCUFO Paper 4, “God’s Sovereignty and our Salvation”, rebuts the temptation in some places to question or even deny that other Christians are saved in and by Christ. It affirms that judgment belongs to God alone,
and that nobody has the capacity or right to call into question the spiritual status of anyone else.
IASCUFO Papers 3 and 4 are available in a single volume, “God So Loved the World”, which can be downloaded free of charge as a PDF from the Anglican Communion website here.
Anglicans around the world are fighting racism inside and outside church structures
Churches around the Anglican Communion are deeply involved in the fight against racism, both within the structures of the church itself, and in wider society. The year 2020 was marked by an increase in support for the Black Lives Matter movement, following the death of George Floyd, an African American, at the hands of police officers in the US. Many churches released statements in response to the tragedy, affirming a commitment to racial reconciliation. Covid-19 has also disproportionately impacted minority groups. Churches around the world have been doing what they can in the fight against racism. More information
Launch of new Anglican Health and Community Network
“For more than a year the attention of the whole world has been primarily focused on health and healthcare, as countries across the globe respond to the Covid-19 pandemic”, the Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Dr Will Adam, said. “And during that time, the value and appreciation we place on healthcare workers has also increased, as we rightly recognise the incredible hard work they have done, particularly those on the front line in critical care, to support patients with Coronavirus and other illnesses. “The new Anglican Health and Community Network will support Anglicans working across the world in health care, whether in clinical settings or in the community. It has long been recognised that, in many parts of the world, Churches are best placed to reach ‘the last mile’ in hard to reach communities — whether it is in disseminating disease prevention education; or organising community clinics. More information
Covid-19 and the campaign for Vaccine Equity
The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, a
number of Primates and the co-convenors of the new Anglican Health and Community Network have joined other faith leaders in a joint letter calling for vaccine equity, and an end to what they are calling “vaccine nationalism”. The letter, signed by around 150 faith leaders, asks leaders attending next month’s G7 meeting to commit to take all the necessary steps to ensure a global program of vaccination is undertaken as “a global common good”. The letter said: “the access of people to life-saving Covid-19 vaccines cannot be dependent on people’s wealth, status, or nationality. We cannot abdicate our responsibilities to our sisters and brothers by imagining that the market can be left to resolve the crisis or pretend to ourselves that we have no obligation to others in our shared humanity. Every person is precious. We have a moral obligation to reach everyone, in every country.” You can subscribe to the Health and Community Network’s newsletter by clicking here .
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