April 24, 2020

Dear Friends,

On Wednesday, before Noonday Prayer, Eleanor and I were in the Church together, sitting down for a brief rest in the quiet before the service began.  After a rare moment of two-year-old silence, Eleanor looked up at me tenderly and asked, “Daddy, where are all the people?”  I replied, beginning to feel a tear building in my eye, “They’re not here, sweetheart.”  She pressed, “When will they get here?”  Tears now rolling down my cheek, I replied “I don’t know, E.”

In my short reflection at the beginning of yesterday’s Epistle, I wrote briefly about the reality of fatigue and frustration that seem to be the dominant emotions for so many of us this week, myself included.  Those words were intended to be pastoral, yet they were also very personal, and I am moved that those words resonated with so many of you.

Like so many of you, I am frustrated at not being able to gather as a congregation in our beloved sacred space at the corner of Chestnut and Main.  I am fatigued from the daily interruption of our normal rhythms and practices.  It helps to name the very real nature of these emotions.

As I continue to feel immense gratitude for the ways in which we are able to connect in this time of social distancing – the wonders of Zoom and various modes of social media, as well as the long-trusted methods of phone and post – I long for the time when we can gather again as an assembly of God’s faithful people.

In these days, I’ve been doing some reflection on ‘hope.’  In our  Book of Common Prayer ’s Catechism, the beginning of the definition of Christian hope is especially moving – “The Christian hope is to live with confidence in newness and fullness of life.” ( BCP , 861).  New and full life is ours to live in these days, unhindered, even amidst the uncertainty and concern surrounding what lies ahead.  

This is more than pious platitude; it is the promise of the resurrection, as alive today as it was that first Easter morning.  May we live with such hope, such new and full life, in all these Easter days.   


The Reverend Andrew J. Hege