Contents of this Message
Rector's Reflection, March 20, 2020
As this week comes to a close, many of us are overwhelmed and tired, and even a little afraid. In a very short time, the world has become a very different place, and we are learning to be community in new and creative ways.
When I think of everything that’s changed over the last five days, I am filled with nothing but gratitude. I’m grateful for my staff and the way they’ve kept things running. I’m grateful for our wardens and Vestry, for their leadership and support. I’m grateful for you—and the way you continue to be Church and a witness to God’s love in a time when Church doesn’t look the way it usually does.
Most of all, I am grateful for God’s love. We don’t know what’s coming and we don’t know when it will end, but we are people who find our hope in God, and God will see us through. Thanks be to God.
Please read through this entire message. It includes an important message from our Senior Warden as well as ways to be connected through the weekend and especially on Sunday. You’ll also find a message regarding Seven Locks Baptist Church’s Food Ministry. Scroll to the end for our prayer list, and on the way check out the St. James’ Playlist! I’ll be in touch again on Monday. Until then, be safe, take care of one another and wash your hands. And may God bless us and keep us, this day and always.
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An Important Message from The Senior Warden
Dear fellow members of St. James’,
These are difficult times. Our concerns may be about our health, our families, our jobs, the economy at large, our nation and the world. To say that our lives are not the same as before the current outbreak of novel viral disease is an understatement. All of us are stressed.
The one constant is our God. Trusting in His care, we can meet the challenges of each day.
We at St. James’ still seek to do His will in our church and our community. Our buildings are closed temporarily to ordinary use, but we are continuing, to function as St. James’ Church as much as possible. Electronic connection has become our way of keeping our church family together.
I remind you of our trust in God and the work God does through the people of St. James’ as a gentle reminder that the operation of the church has to be sustained even when we are unable to occupy and utilize the buildings as we are accustomed to do. Heating and cooling must be continued to protect our facilities. Cleaning and routine maintenance must go on. The electric and telephone bills must be paid. Salaries must be met.
As more than half of our annual operating budget comes from our parishioners through pledges and plate, and a significant portion of our income that results from rentals is lost to us for the foreseeable future, I ask—if you are financially able - that you continue to support St. James’, as you have in the past, by maintaining your pledge and keeping up with your giving. Together, with God’s help, we will make it through. Thank you.
Stay safe. Stay positive. Stay in touch.
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Seven Locks Baptist Church Food Ministry Needs Our Help
Pastor Kyle called today and shared that their food pantry is short on canned goods and peanut butter. If you have extra canned goods, donations can be dropped off at the SLBC office, located at the back of the white house on SLBC church property. The office is closed, but food can be left on or near the two white chairs near the office door. Please respect social distancing and do not knock or ring the bell. Leave the food and Kyle will check for it regularly. Thank you for helping provide food to the hungry in our community.
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- On Sunday, a link to our Morning Prayer service led by James and Rev. Meredith will be emailed to you, or you can access the service from our website, stjamespotomac.org, or through the St. James’ Facebook page.
- You can also live-stream the Cathedral’s service of Holy Eucharist at 11:15 a.m., through the National Cathedral website at cathedral.org.
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Survey Question of the Week: Introducing the St. James’ Playlist!
On Monday, I shared my two favorite songs, “Psalm 139” by Sons of Korah, and Tom Cochrane’s version of “Life is a Highway.” Throughout the week, parishioners have sent in their favorites. Here they are! I have created a “St. James’ Playlist” on Spotify. I understand if you have a subscription, you can search for the playlist, download and enjoy! (Feel free to send more songs to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add to the list.)
If you don’t have Spotify, here are the songs. Thanks to everyone who participated.
- Lord of all Hopefulness
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow, (Israel Kamamakwiwo’ole’s version)
- Three Wooden Crosses (Randy Travis)
- How can I keep from Singing
- You light up my life
- On Eagle’s Wings
- He touched me
- Because I’m happy
- Psalm 139
- Life is a Highway, Tom Cochrane
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A Prayer for Our Nation and the World in Light of this Pandemic
Ever-creating God, be with us as the pall of this COVID-19 pandemic falls upon this “fragile earth” which is our “island home.” We hold in our hearts and prayers all who are suffering in our nation from “sea to shining sea.” We pray for the whole world. Our common anxiety is making us one, undivided human family. We pray for world leaders as they chart these unknown waters. Strengthen them to walk into the Light of a new, healing day for the whole planet. Help us to cross our broken lands and be for each other bridges back to heaven. Lift the cares to which we cling. Descend, O God, on us all to be our Guest. Show us how to find in everything blessing and rest. May this be our prayer while we do not know how to pray and until the last light lingers in the west. Amen, in the name of our creating, redeeming and sustaining God.
Prayers Written by The Rev. Dr. Kate Sonderegger, VTS professor
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