A Special Service of National Prayer & Lament

January 19th, 7pm

Prior to last week's sad events in our nation’s capital, our local interfaith clergy had already begun planning a special service of prayer in response to President Elect Biden’s request for prayer regarding the Covid crisis. This special service takes on even deeper meaning as we enter into a new year of pandemic in various areas of our society. The service will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel and our Facebook page.

St. Peter's is offering two online Bible study

classes each week.

Tuesday morning at 11 am Fr. Jeff and Rabbi Beth Cohen are leading a study of Mark's gospel on Zoom. (Please note new meeting time!) This group has lively and informative discussions about the text they are studying together. There is always room for more participants if you are interested.


Wednesday Evening Bible Study meets from 7 to 8:30 pm every Wednesday via Zoom.

Beginning January 6th we will be reading 1st and 2nd Samuel. 

This history of Samuel, Saul and David is rich in stories that we all know well, as well as stories of heroines and heroes who don’t get as much press as we might hope for - Hannah and Bathsheba, Nathan and Absalom - and much about the Ark, Philistines, battles, betrayals, songs of triumph and sorrow.... lots to chew on!  

Come and join in the discussions. Contact the office for the Zoom links. 

POD Church for Saint Peter’s Church, Lewes DE

Since the days of the early church, lay people have assisted the clergy in caring for the sick and the disabled members of the community of faith by bearing the sacrament of the Eucharist to those not able to attend the service. Over the years, the form of this ministry has waxed and waned depending upon the context of the time, supply of clergy and the leadership of the Church. The Episcopal Church has authorized this ministry as licensed by the Bishop of the diocese under the supervision of the leadership of the parish. By definition, A Eucharistic Visitor is a lay person authorized to take the Consecrated Elements in a timely manner following a Celebration of Holy Eucharist to members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, are unable to be present at the Celebration.

            During the time this pandemic, the shared sacramental life of the congregations has been stressed by the inability to physically gather and share in the breaking of the bread. Because of the limitations of testing, it is difficult to know who is infected with the virus and able to spread COVID-19. While worship services have been available online and some congregations have been able to regather, the time of this pandemic has continued beyond what anyone could have anticipated. As cases continue to climb, a definite end date remains elusive.

            The Episcopal Church in Delaware and St. Peter’s Church, Lewes in particular have a significant percentage of older adult (65+), many of whom also have additional significant health conditions. While they are, for the most part, not going out or socializing in public, they have grouped themselves into small social groups, or pods, for companionship. Young families have done the same, with two or more families agreeing to isolate and only socialize within a limited circle of members. In both these instances, they have agreed not to gather if they are not feeling well or have been exposed to others who are COVID positive within the last two weeks.

            The idea behind POD church is to use these existing groups as a means of dispensing the sacrament. Since the virus limits or prevents us from gathering in large groups, these pods could gather on Sunday morning to share communion. They could watch the liturgy live from St. Peter’s as it is webcasted on Facebook and YouTube, and, at the appropriate time, a Lay Eucharistic Visitor* would open a pyx and share the host. Following the service, they could discuss the Lectionary readings and the Sermon. They would pick up the pyx the Friday before the service and return them to Church to be cleansed on Monday after the service.

            In order to do this, LEVs need to be trained by the Rector and licensed by the Bishop. They would meet all of the qualifications as stipulated by the canons. The Deacon (Chris Miller-Marcin) will, as preferred by the canons, oversee the distribution and recollection of the pyx bags. Each small bag will contain a pyx with enough consecrated hosts for the pod, a small bottle of hand sanitizer and a corporal. The LEVs will be trained in how to respectfully transport and reserve the sacrament prior to the service. They will only distribute the sacrament while watching the Sunday service live. The license would be limited for this specific ministry and for a limited time (six months).

            Pods could range in size from 2 to 10 people. They would need to commit to each other and mutually agree to only gather if they are feeling healthy, without any symptoms of COVID, no temperature above 99.9 degrees F, not be exposed to anyone with COVID in the last two weeks and actively minimizing their physical exposure to others. The pod would need to select a place to gather with access to watching the service while maintaining appropriate social distancing. They would also agree to wear masks except when consuming the sacrament, (unless all of the members of a pod live together).

            This approach minimizes the risk of exposure, fits within the liturgical practices and canons of the Episcopal Church and meets the needs for those longing for communion but concerned about physically attending a church service. It harkens back to our early beginnings as house churches and offers a way forward for the challenges of this time.

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE: check all that apply and return to jross@stpeterslewes.org

_____I would like to be in a POD.

_____I am in a POD and we would like to participate. POD members:

_____I would like to have a license to be a Lay Eucharistic Visitor.

_____I have a web enabled TV and sufficient space to host a POD.

*A Lay Eucharistic Visitor is a lay person authorized to take the Consecrated Elements in a timely manner following a Celebration of Holy Eucharist to members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, were unable to be present at the Celebration. A Eucharistic Visitor should normally act under the direction of a Deacon, if any, or otherwise, the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.

Wednesday Spirituality Group

A group is meeting via Zoom on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 2:30 pm, with the Rev. Carlyle Gill as moderator, to consider readings that may lead to greater wisdom and understanding.  We are currently reading “The Seat of the Soul” by Gary Zukav, which can be obtained from Browseabout Books as well as from Amazon.  All are welcome to join us for open and thoughtful discussion; reading is not necessary for participation in the group. 

Please contact the office if you would like to know how to participate.

St. Peter's Readers

St. Peter’s Readers has been meeting using the Zoom platform on Sundays at 5:00.

We will continue to meet at 5 p.m. while we are using the Zoom platform.

We have made decisions about upcoming selections:  


On January 17, we will discuss A Woman of No Importance by  Sonia Purnell, (non fiction.) 

On February 21, we will discuss The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (fiction). 


At our last meeting, there were several nominations for a classic book for March. If you have a suggestion, please e mail Carole.  April is Poetry Month when we share our favorite poems.  .



For information on how to join this group, please contact the office.

We want to see YOU

The warm, loving community full of genuine Christian hospitality is a hallmark of life at St. Peter's. To help us feel connected in our time of quarantine, we are asking for photos of you – individuals, couples, and families. These photos will be shared as a slideshow in upcoming weeks during our 9:00 Sunday Eucharist on YouTube. To get clear photos, just use your smartphone with good lighting and upload your pictures HERE.

Godly Play

It’s time to Tune-Into Godly Play


When: - Classes begin Sunday September 20, 2020.

Where: - In your home on Facebook Live

Time: -  11:00  am

How: - Virtually on Facebook Live at 11:00

Until: - Sunday School will end on May 9, 2021.


We look forward to your virtual attendance for Godly Play. It’s a chance to see your friends, to share our faith in creative and meaningful ways, and to be together in that faith, and to learn more about our faith.

Be on the lookout for Sunday School Packets. They will be arriving soon in your mailbox!

As we did in class, use your imagination! During the lessons use Legos, create pictures, mold clay, or find other creative ways to rebuild the story you are learning about. See you soon ~ virtually for now!

Blessings,

The Rev. Deacon Chris Miller- Marcin,

Children Christian Formation Coordinator

SPY Continues

Saint Peter’s Youth continue to meet on Sunday mornings at 10 AM following the YouTube Service broadcast. We are meeting via Zoom and welcome any middle or high school students to join us. To receive Zoom link send an email to EdChamberlain@stpeterslewes.org. Our discussions center around the Gospel and how it applies today.

Our Weekly Service schedule

Sunday

9 am Holy Eucharist on YouTube

5 pm Evening Prayer on Facebook

Monday

9 am Morning Prayer on Facebook

5 pm Evening Prayer on Facebook

Tuesday

9 am Iona Morning Prayer on Facebook

(Click here for a link to the bulletin)

5 pm Evening Prayer on Facebook

Wednesday

9 am Morning Prayer on Facebook

5 pm Evening Prayer on Facebook

Thursday

9 am Morning Prayer on Facebook

5 pm Evening Prayer on Facebook

Friday

9 am Morning Prayer on Facebook

5 pm Evening Prayer on Facebook

Saturday

5 pm Evening Prayer on Facebook


Remember: you do NOT need to have a Facebook account to watch our services on Facebook - or to look at anything we post on Facebook, for that matter. 

Nor do you need to create a profile on YouTube to watch our videos there.

Rector's Note

Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish..2 Peter 3:14


Dear friends,

Here is a link to a letter sent out by our Bishop, Kevin Brown, on 12/9/2020.  In short, because the pandemic has reached an even higher peak, in-person activities at all Episcopal Churches in Delaware are being severely curtailed until at least January 11, 2021.  This is the right thing to do and I fully support the Bishop’s decision.  I know this is disheartening for all of us, but we must redouble our efforts to prevent the spread of this vicious disease.  

Practically, what this means is that only the most absolutely essential folks can be present for worship and we are not to exceed 5 people.  We cannot gather in small groups either inside or out.  No weddings and no funerals, (but small graveside committal services are still permitted at the Rector’s discretion).  We had hoped to have the handbell choir play live on Christmas Eve.  We had hoped to invite all members to gather outside around the Church on Christmas Eve to sing Silent Night while masked and physically distant.  We had hoped to find more creative ways to celebrate the Incarnation, but these will not be possible now.

Still, we have HOPE!  We have hope because of the ONE who made and loves us!  We have hope because there are still things that we can do.  We have hope because we have each other, and even if we cannot physically gather, we can still reach out and share our care and compassion with each other. I urge you to reach out in hope to those who you love; call, write and pray for those with whom we cannot gather.  Pray for all who are fight this disease and those who are on the front lines caring for the sick.  Pray for the success of the vaccination distribution.

You may notice that we have not announced our services for Christmas Eve & Day: we were waiting to see the progression of the pandemic.  In addition to the daily Morning & Evening prayer services on Facebook, we will continue to webcast LIVE on Sunday mornings at 9am on YouTube and Facebook.  The Longest Night service will go forward on 12/21/20, when we will remember those who have died this last year and those who grieve.  We will have a single Christmas Eve Eucharist webcasted live at 9pm.  Deacon Chris has prepared an innovative online Pageant that will also be distributed on both platforms.  

Here is what I ask of you:  Look expectantly for the Incarnate ONE!   Do you very best to hold onto HOPE!  Every day, consciously make a list of five things you are grateful for.  Try your best to adapt and observe the customs and traditions you have for celebrating the season.  Redouble your efforts to reach out to others, even if that means persisting in learning new ways to use available technology.  If you are not in a POD church, speak to me about starting or joining one.  Embrace HOPE by counting not what has been lost but by giving thanks for what we have.  Know that your Church and I are here for you if you need help.  We are not closed, nor has God abandoned us!  We are celebrating the light that has come into this world in Jesus Christ and we are persisting in our call as the Baptized to embody this HOPE for the world and each other!  Wear a mask, wash your hands and practice physical distancing.  We WILL make it through this with the Grace of God, by seeking Christmas joy. love and peace by caring for and about each other.

Please keep me in your prayers and know that you are daily in mine.


Jeffrey+