As the flowers begin to bloom in the church yard, so does hope begin to build within our hearts. We are encouraged by the release of the different vaccines and hopeful that this is the harbinger of the end of the pandemic. Some of us have been able to secure our shots and I encourage us all to do so when they become available. We are now entering into a transitional phase.
In the Letter to the Ephesians, the writer strives to teach these Christians about what it means to be part of Christian community or what we now call the Church. In the fourth chapter, we read, “I therefore…, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” As anyone who has ever lived in community knows, bearing with one another is seldom easy. It challenges us to think beyond our own needs and wants and to think of the common good.
Right now, some of us are excited because we have received our vaccine. We are ready for this to be over and for things to return to the way they used to be. Others have not yet gotten their vaccine yet and are wary of going out and getting exposed to Covid-19. It is becoming increasingly scarier too, because more and more people are not wearing their masks or practicing physical distancing. We are in effect, becoming a community divided.
As Christians, we know that we are all part of the Body of Christ. We know that our lives are intimately connected and that we are called to bear with one another. When one is sad, we share in their sadness. When one is blessed, we share in the blessing. When one is in need, we reach out and give what we can. This is our calling from Jesus. This is who we are.
As tempting as it may be to rush back to being “normal”, we need to be patient and wait until access to the vaccine is universally available. It is simply unchristian to do otherwise. This pandemic has changes us in many ways, most of which we are only beginning to understand. What we cannot allow to change, what we must hold fast to, is the nature of practicing our faith as we embody the love of Christ to each. I implore you to be patient and to strive to be kind. We are all going through this storm together, but each of us have had different experiences and losses. Now is not the time for selfishness. Please remember your calling as the Baptized and “seek to serve Christ in ALL persons, loving your neighbor as yourself,” just as we have promised at every baptism.
Throughout the pandemic, the Vestry and I have worked very closely and taken our responsibility very seriously. Our plan is to have an outdoor Easter morning service at Pilottown Cemetery. The registration for this service will be available electronically next week for about 100 people. We will also webcast a service from the Church at 9am as we have done throughout the pandemic, that will not be open for attendance. Our hope is to resume regular weekly service in the Church on the feast of Pentecost (May 23rd). When we do come back, we will have some safety limitations still in place which may include no singing, no chalice at communion, no touching during the sharing of the peace and the like. Of course this is dependent upon the continue decline of new infections and increase in vaccinations. I am happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have.
Please bear with the Vestry and with me. Bear also with one another. Even apart, we have been together. It is how we can make it through this time so that we can all be safely together.
Please keep me in your prayers and please know that you are daily in mine.