Saturday, October 31, 2020

31 October 2020 ~ Note from the Rector


 

31 October 2020


Dear Parishioners and Friends,


Happy All Hallows Eve! (Halloween)


Greetings to you on this chilly morning.  I am praying for you all, and hope that you are warm and cozy, and that you are enjoying the day.  A few notes related to worship tomorrow, as well as some upcoming events.  


Reminder - We set our clocks back tonight! “FALL BACK”


Online Worship tomorrow at 9am 

All Saints Day, including the reading of the necrology

November 1, 2020 ~ 9am

Click HERE to join the worship at 9am


In Person Indoor Worship tomorrow at 10am

All Saints Day, including the reading of the necrology

November 1, 2020 ~ 10am

Click HERE to find the service broadcast on “YouTube Live” 

If you want to see how the church has been rearranged, you can see some photos which I posted on our website HERE, just to give a sense of the distancing efforts.  A summary of our indoor worship guidelines is posted below



Bishop’s Pastoral Letter

Our Bishop has written an extensive and though-provoking message to the Diocese of Pennsylvania, entitled: How will your vote reflect Jesus? The entire message can be found HERE on our church’s website. I encourage you to read his thoughtful message. 



Prayer Attributed to St. Francis

One of Bishop Gutierrez’s suggestions is that we incorporate the Prayer Attributed to St. Francis into our worship tomorrow, which we will.  Also, I recorded a YouTube video of myself saying the prayer which you can find HERE on YouTube, or HERE on our Website.  The Prayer Attributed to St. Francis can be found in the Book of Common Prayer on page 833 and I have also posted it on our Website, as well as at the end of this message. 



A Focus on our Baptismal Covenant

In this time of pandemic, social unrest, work for justice for all people, and a time of tension and stress, it is a key time to reflect upon and reaffirm our Baptismal Covenant and the sense in which we each work to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourself.”  As a part of this effort, you will note that I have repositioned our Baptismal Font to a more prominent place in the Nave, for the time being. 




St. Mary’s Church Nave Open for Prayer on Election Day

November 3, 2020 ~ 10am - 3pm

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, guide and direct, we humbly beseech thee, the minds of all those who are called at this time to exercise the responsible duty of electing fit persons to serve in the government of this nation. Grant that the effect and right issue of their choices may promote thy glory and the welfare of your people; and to all those who shall be elected, give them we pray thee, the spirit of wisdom, courage, sympathy, and true godliness. All this we ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Special Online Service From The Washington National Cathedral

A SERVICE OF HEALING, UNITY & HOPE AFTER AN ELECTION

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 | 12:00pm

The Bishop of Washington, The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, and Dean Randy Hollerith will lead a mid-day service of prayers for the nation in the wake of the election. As ballots are counted and winners and losers determined, we will pray for a renewed sense of national unity, calm and perseverance for the challenges that lie ahead. This will be broadcast on the National Cathedral YouTube channel and website.



Prayer Attributed to Saint Francis


Lord, make us instruments of your peace. 

Where there is hatred, let us sow love; 

where there is injury, pardon; 

where there is discord, union; 

where there is doubt, faith; 

Where there is despair, hope; 

where there is darkness, light; 

Where there is sadness, joy. 


Grant that we may not 

so much seek to be consoled as to console; 

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love. 

For it is in giving that we receive; 

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 

and it is in dying that we

are born to eternal life. Amen.


Peace and Blessings to you all,

In Christ’s Love,


Peter+



All Saints Morning Prayer: https://youtu.be/NWWnfv8N5Lc
Prayer of St. Francis: https://youtu.be/AK1815fdDQM
St. Mary's YouTube Channel for Tomorrow's YouTube Live: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU9NTjXV4ocl0WBliZyYRuQ/

Indoor In-person Morning Prayer Guidelines Summary
If you feel sick, please stay home
Masks - Masks are required at all times
6 feet distancing at all times
Entry - we must take turns entering the nave - keep 6 feet distance
Exit/Egress - Please wait to be invited to get up and leave by the Rector 
Bulletins will be available at entry - no Prayer Books or Hymnals
Music - We will have music, but no singing
Offering - There will be a table with an offering plate
No coffee hour or gathering in the Parish Hall

Some of the Actions taken for Safety
Limit the length of the service to 30 minutes.
Outdoor front doors will stay open.
Doors into nave (glass doors) will stay open.
Removal of half of our chairs.
Arrangement of chairs at least 6 feet apart.
Removal of all hymnals and prayer books.
Purchase of three air purifiers which will be running during the service.
Purchase and placement of four air circulating fans.
Purchase of social-distancing signage and floor stickers
Opening two back doors during the service (partially open) to encourage air flow.
Hired professional cleaners
Purchased hand sanitizer which will be easily available
Limiting bathroom use to one person at a time

A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis

  

                                            A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis


Prayer Attributed to Saint Francis


Lord, make us instruments of your peace. 

Where there is hatred, let us sow love; 

where there is injury, pardon; 

where there is discord, union; 

where there is doubt, faith; 

Where there is despair, hope; 

where there is darkness, light; 

Where there is sadness, joy. 


Grant that we may not 

so much seek to be consoled as to console; 

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love. 

For it is in giving that we receive; 

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 

and it is in dying that we

are born to eternal life. Amen.


~Book of Common Prayer 1979, page 833

A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis

 A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis



Disturb us, Lord



“Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.  Amen.”

Sir Francis Drake

Making the heart of this people wise

 


Friday, October 30, 2020

Church arranged for In-Person Worship

 




Indoor In-person Morning Prayer Guidelines Summary
If you feel sick, please stay home
Masks - Masks are required at all times
6 feet distancing at all times
Entry - we must take turns entering the nave - keep 6 feet distance
Exit/Egress - Please wait to be invited to get up and leave by the Rector 
Bulletins will be available at entry - no Prayer Books or Hymnals
Music - We will have music, but no singing
Offering - There will be a table with an offering plate
No coffee hour or gathering in the Parish Hall

Some of the Actions taken for Safety
Limit the length of the service to 30 minutes.
Outdoor front doors will stay open.
Doors into nave (glass doors) will stay open.
Removal of half of our chairs.
Arrangement of chairs at least 6 feet apart.
Removal of all hymnals and prayer books.
Purchase of three air purifiers which will be running during the service.
Purchase and placement of four air circulating fans.
Purchase of social-distancing signage and floor stickers
Opening two back doors during the service (partially open) to encourage air flow.
Hired professional cleaners
Purchased hand sanitizer which will be easily available
Limiting bathroom use to one person at a time

Thursday, October 29, 2020

How will your vote reflect Jesus Christ? 29 October 2020 ~ Pastoral Letter from Bishop Gutierrez

 



How will your vote reflect Jesus Christ?
29 October 2020 ~ Pastoral Letter from Bishop Gutierrez
My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you. Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them round your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart….
Proverbs 3:1-35

How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 1 John 3:17-18
 
On November 3, both as individuals and as a country, we will make fundamental decisions about our values and morals. As Christians, we do not have the luxury of separating the two. We are called to vote our faith, conscience, and hearts as they have been formed by Jesus Christ. We have the gift to live in this country and the freedom to express our values. However, we cannot forget that our faith must inform every decision we make - including voting. I am reminded of a two-line poem: "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last."

Through our democracy, we are choosing the compass point that will guide our moral journey into the future. As citizens and as Christians, we must express our constitutional right. The faithful and loving people of our diocese span the political spectrum. I am asking that when you vote that you endorse, not a party or a candidate, but your faith; pray and discern how your vote will reflect the words, life, and heart of Jesus Christ. How will your vote create a society that follows the greatest of all commandments: Love God and love your neighbor?

Few can deny that our country is currently a house divided, and a house divided cannot stand. We are also suffering through a worldwide pandemic. People are agonizing if they will have a job or be able to feed themselves and their families. Racial violence and hate are normalized. The evils of violence and white supremacy have come out of the shadows and now brazenly display disregard for human dignity and life. We must also remember the lives lost to gun violence, suicide, and the widening economic and educational disparity in our communities that lead to the marginalization of many in our human family. In order to heal these wounds and overcome these evils, we must be personally and spiritually courageous. As followers of Christ, we can make a difference.

In order to do so, we must stop acting like the Gospels are simply a recommendation - they are the actual Declaration of Independence from this world's broken and selfish ways. As Christians we have a monumental task; to vote in a way that expresses the heart and love of Jesus Christ. Following Christ is not for those with a faint spirit. Our faith calls us to live and act based solely on the truth of the Gospel. 

I am asking you to reflect, discern, pray, and look into your heart as to what being a Christian means to you in your daily life and not just on Sunday. We must hold his words, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters” (Lk. 11:23), in mind. If Jesus Christ informs and moves each moment of your day, we must follow him and his teachings at this crucial moment. 

Which will come first - political party or Jesus Christ? As you discern and pray over your vote, compare the policies of the various candidates. Then ask yourself which candidate(s):

       Align with our Baptismal Covenant and value the dignity of every human being. 
       Will lift up all people without distinction as to race, color, ethnicity, economic status, sexuality or place of origin (Genesis 1:26-27, Romans 2:11, Ephesians 2:14, Deuteronomy 10:17-35, Leviticus 19:33-34, John 13:34, Luke 14:13-14, Colossians 3:10-11, 1 Samuel 16:7, James 2:1-4, Galatians 3:26-29, Matthew 25:31-46, Revelation 7:9-10 )
       Promote peace (Matthew 5:9, Matthew 5:38-42, Ephesians 4:3, John 16:33, Ephesians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 14:33, Colossians 3:13, John 14:27)
       Will unite and not divide (Romans 16:17, Colossians 3:12, Philippians 2:3-4, 1 Peter 3:9-4:14, Romans 12:10, Luke 11:17, Matthew 18:15-18)
       Will not separate, demean, destroy or tear down any of the Holy One’s children Ephesians 4:29-32, Proverbs 11:17, Romans 12:10, Romans 12:15-18, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Hebrews 12:14-15, Proverbs 11:17)
       Care for the poor, lost, hungry, lonely, and the suffering. (James 1:27, Luke 14:12-14, Jeremiah 22:3, Jeremiah 22:16, Proverbs 17:5, Luke 6:20-21, Matthew 25:40, Zechariah 7:10)
       Promote healing for all people (Isaiah 38:16-17, Matthew 4:23-24, Matthew 10:1-8, Luke 5:17-24, Luke 13:11-13, Luke 14:1-6, Luke 10:30-37)
       Value the sanctity of all life. (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 9:6, Exodus 20:13, Psalm 139:13, Job 31:15, Luke 12:6-7)
       Respect God’s wondrous creation (Genesis 2:2-3, Number 35:33-4, Job 12:7-10, Psalm 95:5, Psalm 104:25-30, Isaiah 11:6-9, Isaiah 24:4-6, Isaiah 43:20-21, Colossians 1:16-7)
       Does not promote or empower any individual or system that advocates racism, violence, hatred or the division among the children of the Holy One (Proverbs 24:23, Exodus 22:21, Acts 10:34, John 17:21-23, Jude 1:19, 1 John 4:20, Romans 10:12, James 2:8-9, James 2:4, John 14:15, John 7:24
       Will sacrifice self for good of all people and society rather than our individual wants and needs. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, John 15:13-17:15, Proverbs 22:16, Ephesians 4:2)
       Builds up systems of justice rather than tearing them down. Isaiah 1:17, Isaiah 10:1-2, Isaiah 40:29, Proverbs 31:9, Micah 6:8, Psalm 82:3, Proverbs 28:27, Luke 4:18-19, Matthew 25:40, Luke 11:39-42, Mark 11:15-17


I pray that as the family of the Holy One, we also seek peace after the election. No matter the outcome, many in our country will be angry and will believe the only way to express that anger is through social unrest. I ask that we seek and demonstrate the peace of Christ. Christ’s church must be a sacred, calming and healing place. No matter the results, we are all siblings in Christ. It is essential that we remain in dialogue so that our bonds of love and faith remain strong despite differences in perspective. We must show the world a better way through our words, actions and lives.  In order to remind us of this holy peace, I would like each of our churches to incorporate the Prayer of St. Francis into their worship on November 1 and November 8.

Some may take this pastoral letter as a political statement. If you choose to view it as such, I ask for your prayers. I have no allegiance to any candidate or party. I do not view the world through a political lens. My heart and my only allegiance is to Jesus Christ. I cannot preach the Gospel unless I am willing to live it. I cannot claim the name of Christ as a Christian unless His words inform every decision. If I do not do so, I know that when my time on earth is at an end, I will have to stand before the Lord and answer for it.

Paul repeatedly reminds us that we must be covered with Christ, think with the mind of Christ and always have Christ within us. As you cast your vote, remember the heart of Christ; the heart that beats for everyone, without distinction, in this world. With Christ, all things will be made new. Until we can be together again, I leave you to pray and discern. I leave you in the loving, hopeful, merciful and compassionate hands of our Creator.

I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, Ezekiel 11:19.
Bishop Daniel

29 October 2020 ~ Pastoral Letter from Bishop Gutierrez: "How will your vote reflect Jesus Christ?"



How will your vote reflect Jesus Christ?
29 October 2020 ~ Pastoral Letter from Bishop Gutierrez
My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you. Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them round your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart….
Proverbs 3:1-35

How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 1 John 3:17-18
 
On November 3, both as individuals and as a country, we will make fundamental decisions about our values and morals. As Christians, we do not have the luxury of separating the two. We are called to vote our faith, conscience, and hearts as they have been formed by Jesus Christ. We have the gift to live in this country and the freedom to express our values. However, we cannot forget that our faith must inform every decision we make - including voting. I am reminded of a two-line poem: "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last."

Through our democracy, we are choosing the compass point that will guide our moral journey into the future. As citizens and as Christians, we must express our constitutional right. The faithful and loving people of our diocese span the political spectrum. I am asking that when you vote that you endorse, not a party or a candidate, but your faith; pray and discern how your vote will reflect the words, life, and heart of Jesus Christ. How will your vote create a society that follows the greatest of all commandments: Love God and love your neighbor?

Few can deny that our country is currently a house divided, and a house divided cannot stand. We are also suffering through a worldwide pandemic. People are agonizing if they will have a job or be able to feed themselves and their families. Racial violence and hate are normalized. The evils of violence and white supremacy have come out of the shadows and now brazenly display disregard for human dignity and life. We must also remember the lives lost to gun violence, suicide, and the widening economic and educational disparity in our communities that lead to the marginalization of many in our human family. In order to heal these wounds and overcome these evils, we must be personally and spiritually courageous. As followers of Christ, we can make a difference.

In order to do so, we must stop acting like the Gospels are simply a recommendation - they are the actual Declaration of Independence from this world's broken and selfish ways. As Christians we have a monumental task; to vote in a way that expresses the heart and love of Jesus Christ. Following Christ is not for those with a faint spirit. Our faith calls us to live and act based solely on the truth of the Gospel. 

I am asking you to reflect, discern, pray, and look into your heart as to what being a Christian means to you in your daily life and not just on Sunday. We must hold his words, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters” (Lk. 11:23), in mind. If Jesus Christ informs and moves each moment of your day, we must follow him and his teachings at this crucial moment. 

Which will come first - political party or Jesus Christ? As you discern and pray over your vote, compare the policies of the various candidates. Then ask yourself which candidate(s):

       Align with our Baptismal Covenant and value the dignity of every human being. 
       Will lift up all people without distinction as to race, color, ethnicity, economic status, sexuality or place of origin (Genesis 1:26-27, Romans 2:11, Ephesians 2:14, Deuteronomy 10:17-35, Leviticus 19:33-34, John 13:34, Luke 14:13-14, Colossians 3:10-11, 1 Samuel 16:7, James 2:1-4, Galatians 3:26-29, Matthew 25:31-46, Revelation 7:9-10 )
       Promote peace (Matthew 5:9, Matthew 5:38-42, Ephesians 4:3, John 16:33, Ephesians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 14:33, Colossians 3:13, John 14:27)
       Will unite and not divide (Romans 16:17, Colossians 3:12, Philippians 2:3-4, 1 Peter 3:9-4:14, Romans 12:10, Luke 11:17, Matthew 18:15-18)
       Will not separate, demean, destroy or tear down any of the Holy One’s children Ephesians 4:29-32, Proverbs 11:17, Romans 12:10, Romans 12:15-18, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Hebrews 12:14-15, Proverbs 11:17)
       Care for the poor, lost, hungry, lonely, and the suffering. (James 1:27, Luke 14:12-14, Jeremiah 22:3, Jeremiah 22:16, Proverbs 17:5, Luke 6:20-21, Matthew 25:40, Zechariah 7:10)
       Promote healing for all people (Isaiah 38:16-17, Matthew 4:23-24, Matthew 10:1-8, Luke 5:17-24, Luke 13:11-13, Luke 14:1-6, Luke 10:30-37)
       Value the sanctity of all life. (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 9:6, Exodus 20:13, Psalm 139:13, Job 31:15, Luke 12:6-7)
       Respect God’s wondrous creation (Genesis 2:2-3, Number 35:33-4, Job 12:7-10, Psalm 95:5, Psalm 104:25-30, Isaiah 11:6-9, Isaiah 24:4-6, Isaiah 43:20-21, Colossians 1:16-7)
       Does not promote or empower any individual or system that advocates racism, violence, hatred or the division among the children of the Holy One (Proverbs 24:23, Exodus 22:21, Acts 10:34, John 17:21-23, Jude 1:19, 1 John 4:20, Romans 10:12, James 2:8-9, James 2:4, John 14:15, John 7:24
       Will sacrifice self for good of all people and society rather than our individual wants and needs. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, John 15:13-17:15, Proverbs 22:16, Ephesians 4:2)
       Builds up systems of justice rather than tearing them down. Isaiah 1:17, Isaiah 10:1-2, Isaiah 40:29, Proverbs 31:9, Micah 6:8, Psalm 82:3, Proverbs 28:27, Luke 4:18-19, Matthew 25:40, Luke 11:39-42, Mark 11:15-17


I pray that as the family of the Holy One, we also seek peace after the election. No matter the outcome, many in our country will be angry and will believe the only way to express that anger is through social unrest. I ask that we seek and demonstrate the peace of Christ. Christ’s church must be a sacred, calming and healing place. No matter the results, we are all siblings in Christ. It is essential that we remain in dialogue so that our bonds of love and faith remain strong despite differences in perspective. We must show the world a better way through our words, actions and lives.  In order to remind us of this holy peace, I would like each of our churches to incorporate the Prayer of St. Francis into their worship on November 1 and November 8.

Some may take this pastoral letter as a political statement. If you choose to view it as such, I ask for your prayers. I have no allegiance to any candidate or party. I do not view the world through a political lens. My heart and my only allegiance is to Jesus Christ. I cannot preach the Gospel unless I am willing to live it. I cannot claim the name of Christ as a Christian unless His words inform every decision. If I do not do so, I know that when my time on earth is at an end, I will have to stand before the Lord and answer for it.

Paul repeatedly reminds us that we must be covered with Christ, think with the mind of Christ and always have Christ within us. As you cast your vote, remember the heart of Christ; the heart that beats for everyone, without distinction, in this world. With Christ, all things will be made new. Until we can be together again, I leave you to pray and discern. I leave you in the loving, hopeful, merciful and compassionate hands of our Creator.

I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, Ezekiel 11:19.
Bishop Daniel