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Pastoral Letter

March 18, 2020

 

Greetings LOC family,

I hope you are all feeling well. This morning I was involved in a video conference with Bishop John and the clergy in our diocese. The purpose was to share together our concerns about the Coronavirus and how we can continue to be involved together as churches. +John encouraged us to not live in fear but to be cautious. The diocese has decided to follow the advice of the CDC and plan on this pandemic lasting awhile.

He also gave us an example of an Episcopal rector from Washington D.C that attended a conference not knowing that he was infected with the virus. Six people that he spent time with there are now infected. He came to D.C. and preached and gave the Eucharist to over 200 people. He is the first one announced to have the virus in that area. He had no symptoms and assumed everything was fine. The bishop cautioned all of us to not underestimate the seriousness of this.

In light of that, we shared ideas about how to worship together without actually being together. With that in mind, Light of Christ will not have services at the church until further notice. Last week Joy posted my sermon text on the church website, www.lightofchristva.org, but this week we will tape the sermon as usual and it will be available for Sunday morning. You may have noticed that Joy posted the Morning Prayer liturgy to be used along with the sermon.

Another resource that I recommend is the ACNA web page listing those churches providing live streaming on Sunday.    http://anglicanchurch.net/?/main/page/1994     Like us there are no parishioners in the churches but only a limited staff for the live stream. Randy feels that we can probably be doing that soon and is in the process of making that happen. Peter Frank, the rector of Church of the Epiphany in Chantilly reported that they had a group from Afghanistan watching. A few others shared that there were more people watching than usually attend. This could be a future ministry for us at LOC.

Finally, I want to encourage you to spend a lot of time in God’s word and prayer for our world, nation and community. If you know of those who aren’t able to get out and buy groceries or who have other needs please let me know. Laura Raciborski, of Wyldlife has volunteered to shop or help in any way she can. I will be checking on you as time goes by and encourage you to keep in contact with each other. Any creative ideas that you have are always welcome.

“O God, you made us in your own image, and you have redeemed us through your Son, Jesus Christ: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the wall that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggles and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time. All nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Amen “For the Human Family”: 2019 Book of Common Prayer, p. 659

“Increase, O God, the spirit of neighborliness among us, that in peril we may uphold one another, in suffering attend to one another, and in homelessness, loneliness, or exile befriend one another. Grant us brave and enduring hearts that we may strengthen one another, until the disciplines and testing of these days are ended, and you again give peace in our time; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Amen “In Times of Social Conflict or Distress” 2019 Book of Common Prayer, p.659

Blessings,

Mike