Farnham & St. John's
Weekly E-pistle
photograph by Jordan Donaldson on unsplash, no permissions necessary.
“Onward”

In this “Message” today, I come to you with a troubled spirit. So troubled at events which are rolling around and over us in ways that seem simply bent on massive destruction. Like some massive storm we sensed coming but kept hoping would veer away from our shorelines, head back out to sea. Exhaust its terrible chaotic energy over the primal depths of ocean deeps far from where we live. But tragically this one made landfall in our life. The virus.

The drama playing out in our lives is a viral storm. And I do not just mean the one named Covid, the physical microscopic virus that is infecting everyone in which it takes up host. This almost perfect viral storm is happening because it has a twin. The virus of hate and violence.

Here is “virus” defined. “An infective agent that typically consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat, is too small to be seen, and is able to multiply only within the living cells of a host.” Other phrases associated with “virus” include “typically having a detrimental effect such as corrupting the system.”

The twin viruses, one infecting our physical aspect (the body), the other infecting our spiritual aspect (mind/heart) when joined create a perfect storm.

Apply the definition of virus and we can project the devastation wrought by Covid and hate. Both are infective agents, too small to be seen until they manifest (show up) in their action on our systems. Both require the “living cells of a host.” They have detrimental effect. They corrupt our system – our individual human system (body and spirit) which is optimally designed by our Creator to grow us into healthy and whole individuals. Then in turn the larger organized system we call a community. When individuals become host to infection and then gather in groups, the infection is multiplied exponentially corrupting and destroying the health of larger and larger organizational systems. The multiplication factor in a viral infection makes it so lethal. 

I have been out of state this week, but off and on glued to the news and really horrified at what is going on. Covid is a new virus mutation in our system; hate/violence around since the genesis of human beings in relationship with each other and their Creator (go to the story of Cain and Abel for the classic Biblical take on that virus). There are such positive, wholistic and health promoting efforts arising to combat both infections. And yet both infections are moving faster than we seem to be able to keep up with their trajectories and come out ahead of their curve. They are insidiously “hungry” and feasting on our vulnerabilities. Are we really aware of just how excessively aggressive each of these viral infections are and how vulnerable we are to their tactics of infestation?

Given the amazing advancements of technology and medicine, my guess is that we will overcome Covid – that is until it mutates again, which will stimulate us again to find a vaccine or cure for that mutation. I have less confidence in our ability to combat the virus of hate and supremacy which lead to violence to the health and integrity of an individual, a group, or an organization. Even though we know the antidote, the cure for the virus of hate, there seems to be something in our human make-up that lures us into complacency and ego individualistic ways that make us good hosts for its infection. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in his sermon for the Washington National Cathedral Pentecost Sunday service on May 31 st zoned in on this idea and also on what we need to do to overcome our vulnerabilities to both Covid and what he named as the sin of selfishness. The antidote, treatment and cure wrapped up in living “The Way of Love.” Please if you tap into any other message this week, please, please, listen to his sermon, inserted below.

Christ says, “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life.” Christ manifests, shows us, what that Way looks like. However, I also point to the words of an Old Testament prophet. Hear the words of Yahweh/God spoken through the prophet Micah: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” 

What is happening today in the world around us, this viral storm, is too big for any one of us, any one group of us or even all of us. We shall overcome what is trying to destroy our health, fracture any peace or wholeness we may aspire too, and destroy justice, compassion and love. We shall overcome the enemy of life though when we confront and humble the idea that we can go it alone without the Divine. When we shelter our ego and our lives in that Divine Presence and then go forth to overcome the infestations that seek to destroy us. We need to gather together under the umbrella of Divine Love and Protection. We cannot stop this storm in its tracks right now, but we can move through it with the eyes of our heart trusting in a clearer horizon waiting for us. The path through is love, compassion, faith.  Onward we will weather this storm.

                                                             With God’s amazing grace, may it be so.

Torrence 
Announcements
Food Pantry

Keep those food pantry donations coming. We will be delivering our June donations to Warsaw United Methodist Church Food Pantry this Thursday, June 4 th and those to the Farnham Baptist Food Pantry on Monday June 8 th .

At St. John's leave items on the bench under the church bell between the two doors of the sanctuary. 

At Farnham leave items on Jim and Susan Crowley's back porch (278 Cedar Grove Road across the street from the church). 
Join us BEFORE our Zoom Morning Prayer Service Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Bring a cup of coffee for a visit at around 9:15 and we'll have coffee hour before instead of after the service. Invitation & instructions to be sent Friday or Saturday.
There will be no Mid-Week Video Reflection this week.
The Parish Prayer List
Courtenay Altaffer
John Barber
Martha Berger
Randall Bone
Sue Bowie
Nancy Allin Bush
Anna Calvert
Mary Claycomb
Marilyn Day
Sumner Elwell
Constance Edwards
Bob File
Regina Griggs
Barbara & Harry Grander
the Rev. Howard Hanchey
Weir Harman
Mary Hertling
Rebecca Hubert
Marcia Jenkins
Stephanie, Nick & Donovan Kaywork
Ramiza Koya
Jim & Sharon Krider
Susan Lewis
Frank Lynch
Susannah Marais
Judi Newman
Kirsten Palubinski
George Patrick
Don Phillips
Dennis Rynd
James Rynd
Debbie Belfield Stacks
Scott Strickler
Waldy Sulik
Billy Tennyson
Connie Thompson
Matthew Yates
and Rose Mary Zellner
Please e-mail any updates to the prayer list to parishchurchnews@gmail.com
June Birthdays & Anniversaries
9 th - Ben & Sallie Cox
9 th - Bill Carden
19 th - Anna Calvert
24 th - Anne Neuman
28 th – Waldy Sulik
29 th - Evie Overton
There will be a Morning Prayer Service via Zoom Sunday Morning at 10:00 a.m. Further instructions will be forthcoming later in the week.
Farnham Church
St. John's Church