Sisters and brothers in Christ
I trust this week has been a good one for you? I have done a little visiting and phoning, and it seems as if the Covid implications are bothering many of us, as it breaks out further and the way in which the government sees fit to isolate areas and also impose restrictions. We are perhaps forced to accept that it is here as part of our lives and that the future will be enmeshed in its implications. However, we are satisfied that our churches are doing whatever is necessary to safeguard us appropriately, and thank you for being so vigilant and aware. Be assured that you are being prayed for, and that I am willing to come to you whenever you wish.I attach two items of interest1. Last Sunday’s sermon, e-news and Zoom meeting included references to icons, and here is a video of a service in which icons are used as a refreshing way of praying. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83445702981?pwd=YnE2c2xxREcrVm80bUhhSkZKN04rQT09
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This classical Greek Orthodox icon of the Trinity invites the viewer, YOU, to take a seat and join them, spending time considering how you are part of the Divine Dance (the title Richard Rohr gives to his book). 2. The second attachment includes a structure of us, as church, within the circles of Area Council, and of the Diocese. It is good to see how all the functioning parts of our church interrelate: buildings, investments, monies, and mission fit into the greater whole, also to know that the Bishop and Diocese are there as an integral part of our good functioning and spiritual wellbeing.
Zoom seems to be part of our lives now and I am sure it or other ways of videoconferencing will become permanent parts of our engagements; sharing and mulling over initiatives, decision-making and in healthy exchange. I urge you to find a way of using Zoom: we are here to help and encourage us to do so.
This week I am including two more regular items: 1. Hymns. Our tradition is so very intertwined with music and words which are so meaningful to us as Episcopalians, with a very distinctive repertoire. I have included the first line so that you can look them up on youtube, and sing along, or even use the lyrics as prayers. As you know our congregations are taking all books used at church, home with them. Should you like a hymn book, do ask us and we can bring one to you, or arrange to fetch a copy from church.
HYMNS: 198. Ye holy angels bright….
#114 I bind myself today….. or 72 Bind us together, Lord….
115. Dear Lord and father of mankind…
169 The church of God a kingdom is.
2.The Collect. It is comforting to be praying with Episcopalians world wide on the theme of the collects and be aware of the way they surround the readings of the day in prayer.
COLLECT: Guard your church O Lord.
With your perpetual mercy: and since without your aid we lose our way,
Draw us always, by your help, away from harm,
And steer us towards salvation;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives with you,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
3. READINGS Genesis 50: 15 – 21. Psalm 103: 8 – 13. Romans 14: 1 – 12. Matthew 18: 21 – 35
The theme is around forgiveness, and we will look at the ongoing need for personal, societal, historical and cultural awareness
of this ongoing need. Perhaps you would like to look at some wondrous examples of the freedom which emanates from, and
continues throughout our lives through forgiveness. I share some other more recent examples of peoples who have
exemplified this spirit: Etty Hillesum,Thich Nhat Hanh, Desmond Tutu. Should you wish to look up these people, you
will enter a most inspiring and comforting world seen through another’s eyes.
This is, with so many activities curtailed, a perfect time for deeper reflection.
Once again, your sharing of your experience will be wonderful, whether as we worship together, visit, or use the
tools of writing.
God bless in all you do. May your life be tinged with the deepening colours nature is revealing in this end of summer
and early autumn season.