From Our Interim Rector
March 14, 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Although we are not worshiping together in person this Sunday or next, there are alternative ways you can join worship online.

While our Grace and Holy Trinity public worship services are suspended, we invite you to participate with us in a virtual worship experience. You may join this at any time that is convenient to you after 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 15.

We have chosen not to prepare a live event which would bring us all together online at the same time in order to give you the most flexibility in participating. You could choose to worship at 7:45, 8:45, or 11:00 a.m., as you usually do on Sunday morning, or pick a different time.

You may be wondering, is virtual worship really worship ? My belief is that God hears the intentions of our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies whenever and wherever we offer them. By sharing in the same prayers, even virtually, even when we are separated from each other by distance or by time, we raise our prayers and praises together. God can certainly discern our shared concerns expressed in differing voices, offered at different times, and still hear us as one community.

On our church YouTube channel , you will find two videos: one of me leading Morning Prayer with the prayers and readings for Sunday, March 15, and one of Kim delivering her sermon based on those readings. Have your  Book of Common Prayer  ready to follow along so that you may participate fully. Don't have a prayer book at home? You can access it online easily. From the sidebar menu choose  The Daily Office , then Daily Morning Prayer: Rite Two. You may also access the Collect of the Day and texts of the Readings. We use this reference weekly in our eNews .

An additional option for sharing in virtual worship this Sunday is to join with the larger Episcopal community in the live online worship service at the Washington National Cathedral with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry , beginning on March 15 at 11:00 a.m. 

Beyond Sunday worship, I encourage you to be diligent in your personal and family’s daily prayers. Our diocesan Deacons, as part of the St. Phoebe School,  offer daily prayer . Our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Susan Goff, offers this perspective.

However you choose to worship and to pray during this time of extraordinary circumstances, keep our parish, city, nation, and entire world in the forefront of your hearts.

Remember the words of the prophet Jeremiah, as he assured God's children in their dark days of exile in faraway Babylon: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I'm not suggesting that this coronavirus is God’s plan, but rather that God s plans and promises for the good of all continue even, and especially , when we are in the midst of difficult times.
May God’s peace be with you,

The Rev. Bill Queen , Interim Rector

P.S. There are many resources online as this coronavirus situation is changing rapidly. Please visit the dedicated webpage of the Diocese of Virginia for the latest information, which we are monitoring closely. Thanks to your prayerful support, the work of Grace and Holy Trinity Church continues .

The parish staff will mostly be working remotely through March 25. Our telephone and computer networks allow us to access shared drives and phone messages. The mail will be checked as needed. We are continuing the deep cleaning and disinfecting of the entire building. We will have our weekly staff meeting via conference call. Please do keep in touch with staff and with each other, and pass along any needs as they arise.