Farnham & St. John's
Weekly E-pistle
An Easter Message from Bishop Susan Goff
to the people of the Diocese of Virginia

Torrence's Weekly Message
Dear friends: I hope you had a lovely Easter day. While we couldn’t gather in our church sanctuaries with friends and families, I like to believe that whenever we paused on that day our hearts reached out and touched others and ours were touched too by Easter joy. It’s not easy sheltering in place and not being in our churches on Easter, but I have heard some lovely stories or how some folks did connect with Easter at home.

I have a confession to make. Even though we are to shelter in place, I stopped by St. John’s the next day: Easter Monday. Just kind of wandered around. Picked up a few sticks that the winds the night before had knocked out of the trees in the lower cemetery and re-filled the bird feeder in the little sitting area outside my office. I then drove by Farnham and
once again picked up small branches and sticks the winds had blown off those beautiful old trees and checked the progress of the grass growing where the Kudzo had been removed. Just walking the earth at both churches felt like a good, right and holy thing to do. If anyone had stopped to question me. I would have just smiled and said, “It’s essential.”

How special it was Holy Saturday night to hear so many of your voices during our Easter Vigil prayers via teleconferencing. We had about thirty folks “on-line” for that evening. We will continue our evening prayers going forward on Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m. however, I anticipate we will begin to do that by Zoom so we will have a chance not only to hear each other, but also see one another. I’ll keep you posted on the progress (and instructions) for this Zooming.

Also, for a while I will continue to post a mid-week reflection – another way to stay in touch. And you can expect an on-line Sunday sermon/homily from me. At this time I want to specially thank Dean Hinnant my videographer. He’s not only really good at what he does, he is patient with me and my learning curve.

And now for the really GOOD NEWS! Easter is not over. Easter Day is the first day of a fifty-day liturgical season in our tradition. And how fabulous that this Easter season is mirrored in and mirrored by this beautiful Spring. New life is emerging all around us. How can we not smile and have hope despite the distressing virus that is trying to hi-jack life? I am not down-playing what is happening with this virus. However, I know from long life experience that one of the best antidotes to fear and anxiety is to focus on what builds us up, not tears us down. Something about holding on to the good, despite what is negative. Building up and savoring what is good gives us greater strength and confidence that we will make it through a negative time.

Please be gentle with yourself, connect with loved ones and friends via telephone, skype, zoom, using the technology that we have to make life connected at a time when we feel disconnected. But also be careful of all the technology – too much news, too much internet – can heighten anxiety, and also divert us from experiencing this beautiful nurturing time that nature has to offer. Savor quiet, beauty, the food you eat, the walks you take, the books you read, the music you listen to. Savor the people that you are sheltering with. Even now, especially now, there is much to savor in life. We need to nurture and be nurtured by one another and all of creation around us. It builds our immune system. Gather strength from this springtime, from living into these many days of Eastertide. It will bring peace. May it be so . . . .

Farnham Pictures courtesy of Susan Crowley
Quote of the Week
thanks to parishioner Sandy Hagan for the following in her own words:

Every human life and perhaps the lives of many other species have or are now flirting with our own demise due to this modern plague tagged Corona Virus 19
This brings the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ into our hearts minds and souls on a personal basis perhaps never before experienced
It manifests itself in many mental emotional and physical ways that impact and influences
Everything we do and say
It can be overwhelming but for the outcome
I am buoyed by happiness on Palm Sunday and exhausted by Maundy Thursday quieted by Good Friday and anxious on Saturday as if I did not know the ending of this part of the story but on EASTER SUNDAY I am exuberant
Energy returns !!!!!!
I believe this pandemic has made the proof of this Easter more relatable more personal and more real
Than ever before
I know it has in my life
In case you didn't tune in to the Easter Sunday service at the Washington National Cathedral, I encourage you to listen to the sermon delivered by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, linked here.
Forward Day by Day
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
Les Merkel
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
There will be a compline Service via Zoom or teleconference Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. Further instructions will be forthcoming later in the week.
Farnham Church
St. John's Church