A Pastoral Message from Fr Greg
March 26, 2020
I would like to take just a minute to offer all of you a word of encouragement in this challenging time for our church, for all churches, and for all people everywhere.
Life is certain to throw us challenges from time to time. We joke about the certainty of death and taxes, but we all know there are more hurdles to face in our lives than those two. The onset of this COVID-19 virus is clearly one of them that we will be talking about for some time to come.
As much as we love our historic building, it is true that our church is not a building, but that it is the people. Still, because churches are communities that meet weekly to rehearse our Christian Tradition, to remind ourselves of who we are, where we came from, and to participate in the mission to which we are called in this world….a virus that prevents us from meeting together constitutes a threat, not only to our health as individuals, but to the integrity and strength of our community. We have a habit of coming together week by week at least – some of us more often; but we are human, and the reality is that it seems to be easier for us to break good habits, than it is for us to break bad habits.
As your priest, I want to do everything I can to make sure that you do not forget who you are – that you are a member of the Body of Christ, and that you are a vital part of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and School. We are nothing without each other, and as challenging as these times are, I hope you miss our times of worship and fellowship as much as I do, and that you look forward to the day when we can come together once again.
In the meantime, it is important for us to be people of prayer. I hope we are all spending a good deal of time in the presence of our Lord each day, lifting one another before the throne. It is important we pray for those who are afflicted with sickness, as well as for those who care for them. It is important for us to pray for the continued health of all of us who are not infected. We need to pray for others first, and then for ourselves.
In times like this I am reminded of the 23rd Psalm – which was our Psalm for the liturgy this past Sunday. Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we need fear no evil, for God is with us. Right there in front of our enemies, no matter who or what they are, our God prepares a table on which he offers the Bread of Life, and the Cup of Salvation, which overflows to touch everything our lives touch.
In this Psalm, David understands that
God will not necessarily take all evil things away, but that God will walk through the darkness with us, so that we can tap God’s strength when we feel weak and vulnerable.
If you are one who feels weak and vulnerable right now, or even if you are just irritated at the new difficulties we face as we try to remain healthy, please remember that God is walking with us, walking beside us, and sometimes carrying us through our days of struggle.
This scourge of a virus will not last forever.
We must be smart and careful, and we must trust our health care professionals as workers on God’s behalf among us. We must treat one another with care and kindness help to make life a little easier to live.
Do not forget who you are, and who God is making you to be, in him.
Let us pray:
God, our Father, your will for all people is health and salvation; you sent your Son, Jesus that we might have life, and might have it more abundantly; and you have given us your Holy Spirit to make our bodies temples of your presence and ministry in this world.
We praise you and thank you, O Lord.
We pray earnestly that you would grant your healing grace to flow and to touch all who are sick, injured, or disabled, weak, discouraged, lonely or afraid.
Hear us, O Lord of life.
Heal us and make us whole. Amen.
And now may the God of peace, who brought back our Lord Jesus from the dead, and who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine, keep our hearts and minds in love, and strengthen us to so the work he gives us to do.
The blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be upon you, and remain with you always.