First, A Time of Grief
A few days ago, as I was working at home, I experienced a wave of tiredness, and then a wave of sadness. I sat with those feelings for a moment in prayer and realized that what I was experiencing was grief. I miss being at the church. I miss worshipping together. I miss sharing in communion. I fear for so many of our vulnerable friends and family. I miss the hustle and bustle of our Community Dinner with all the joking and chatter as people fill their plates and eat together. I miss shaking hands and hugging.
We have lost a lot, but it will not all be permanent. Right now, we are taking care of each other by staying home, but eventually this epidemic will pass.
There Will Be Resurrection
Late last week we learned that our churches will remain closed at least through Easter Sunday. We are working now on strategies to share worship in our homes, supported by our online worship offering, as we all “stay home, stay safe”, as our governor has asked. This will be very different, but we can still have a beautiful Easter.
We love coming together in Holy Week and on Easter Day to celebrate, sing, pray, and shout with joy. I promise you, we will do that. As soon as we are allowed to return to church and worship together, we will hold an Easter Celebration that will fill our hearts with joy. In the meantime, we will continue to be church in new ways.
Holy Week at Home
April 5th is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. We are preparing a mailing for the entire congregation with resources that you can use at home to observe the services and celebrations of Holy Week. We will then share the same prayers throughout the week, and participate, as we are able, in the online offerings. Mother Catharine’s article below suggests ways to create your own worship space at home.
We will also send you a booklet with all services of Holy Week, including music and readings. We will use these booklets to lead worship on our live-stream offerings, and our hope is that you will participate from home. The materials are being created to work on their own, whether you have access to the online worship events or not. They are designed to work for people living alone and for families and other households as well.
Care Groups Keep Us Connected
Last week we launched our Care Groups. Most of you should have already received an email and maybe even phone calls from other members of your care groups. If you have not yet received your personal invitation, rest assured that we are working to get to you too. At last check we have had launched fifteen care groups with seven more to go. The process is to find a member of each group willing to be the coordinator who will make the first calls and help get the group started. If you have not heard from your group yet and you would be willing to help, please let Mary Pacher know. Care Groups provide the contact we need to Stay Connected, Stay Church and Take Care of Each Other. Throughout history, Christians have been at our best in the most trying of times because this is what we do: We care for one another. Care Groups allow us to do that even when we are isolated at home.
The Virtual Offering Plate
One of the first limitations we faced, as coronavirus protections measures were put in place, was the elimination of passing the plate during worship. Now, as we are all staying home, people have started asking how we can continue to support the Church. There are several ways to do that.
- First, if you are accustomed to writing a check, please do so and mail it to the church office. We are still checking our mail and making weekly deposits.
- If you use online banking, you can easily set up St. Dunstan’s Church and send your pledge in as an automatic bill payment. My bank automatically writes a check and mails it to the Church once a month.
- There are several online options that you can use as well. Most of these have fees of about 3% involved, so if you use them please consider covering that extra cost. Online giving options are available on our donations page.
You are all in my prayers. Stay connected, stay church, and take good care of yourselves and one another.