St. James' Episcopal Church
St. James’ mission is to bring people together to be transformed by and to proclaim Christ’s love through worship, spiritual formation, and service.

 

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Rector’s Reflection During Coronavirus
Period of Social Distancing


From The Rev. Meredith T. Heffner
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Contents of this Message 

Rector's Reflection
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today I’d like to talk about prayer. In our Catechism, found in the Book of Common Prayer, the question is asked, “What is prayer?”

The answer is simple: “Prayer is responding to God, by thought and by deeds, with or without words.”

We are all turning to God in different ways during this time of COVID-19. Praying by deeds may involve calling a friend, FaceTiming with a family member, and writing a note or an email. Praying with words may be more thoughtful, or come straight from the prayer book. For those who are anxious, prayer may be more of a feeling as words may be hard to come by.
And yet we are people of hope, encouraged to pray to God—lifting our needs and desires, our gratitude and our thanks, however we can.

What we are missing right now is communal prayer. You have to admit, there is something powerful about praying together. As Jesus says in Matthew 18, “When two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.” I miss gathering and praying with you, and feeling Jesus’ presence together.

Just because we are not physically together, however, does not mean we cannot pray together. In fact, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Episcopalians are invited to join with Christians around the world as together we join in praying the Lord’s Prayer today, Wednesday, March 25 at noon in our own time zones. What a powerful petition this will be, as we all turn to God as one! The invitation from Pope Francis follows below. 

I’ll be participating and I hope you will, too. When you are done, don’t forget to lift the prayer requests on our prayer list, which can also be found in this email. And know I am praying for you.

May God bless you and keep you, and always remind you how much you are loved.

Rev. Meredith
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Pope Francis Invites Christians to Pray on March 25

From The Episcopal Church, All Christians Invited to Pray on March 25

Pope Francis invited all Christians to respond to the coronavirus pandemic “with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness,” adding, “Let us remain united. Let us make our closeness felt toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried.” Speaking after the traditional recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father called on all Christians to join together in prayer. “In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the threat of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards Heaven,” he said.
 
On Wednesday, March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, Pope Francis has invited “the Heads of the Churches and the leaders of every Christian community, together with all Christians of the various confessions, to invoke the Almighty, the omnipotent God, to recite at the same time the prayer that Jesus, our Lord, taught us”—the Our Father. Pope Francis prayed, “may the Lord listen to the united prayer of all of his disciples who are preparing themselves to celebrate the victory of the Risen Christ.”

Join Presiding Bishop Curry on Livestream or Facebook Live to pray the Lord’s Prayer at noon ET.

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Prayer for a Pandemic
By Cameron Bellm, Seattle, Washington

May we who are merely inconvenienced
remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors
remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home
remember those who must choose between
preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility
to care for our children when their schools close
remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips
remember those that have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money
in the tumult of the economic market
remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country,
let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically
wrap our arms around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God
to our neighbors. Amen.

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Rev. Meredith’s Survey QuestionWeek 2!
What are you reading? Please send me any book recommendations, and I’ll share the list at the end of the week. Send email to rector@stjamespotomac.org.
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Copyright © 2020 St. James' Episcopal Church, All rights reserved.


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