COVID-19 Care: Diminishing the Distance
Saint Martin’s COVID CARE Video 1 Basic Info
May God the Father bless us, God the Son heal us, God the Holy Spirit give us strength. May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard our bodies, save our souls, and bring us safely to his heavenly country; where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen. (For Health of Body and Soul, adapted from the BCP 460)
During this period of international health crisis, Saint Martin’s will offer a special online resource (here on this page) for parishioners and guests who wish to stay current with our ministry and life together. Coming soon will be a weekly video containing a devotional by our priest, along with notices and updates, encouragements and reminders.
Our public worship is suspended, as are all our church gatherings. Options for home worship can be accessed on line.
OPTIONS FOR HOME WORSHIP
The Washington National Cathedral will offer a worship service on Sundays. These services can be accessed via www.cathedral.org.
Private use of the prayer book has always been encouraged. Now it can be a special source of strength. Daily prayers of Morning Prayer, Noon Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline (end of day) are part of The Book of Common Prayer (1979). We invite you to explore praying from the prayer book, starting on page 35. It is okay to select out what speaks to you. No need to follow every direction in sequence, although learning that can also be a blessing. Using the BCP as a couple, a family, or in small groups is a good way to share the pursuit of prayer. The Sunday Readings of Scripture and Weekday Readings can be found by clicking http://www.lectionarypage.net/
Christianity and Common Sense
Almost a century ago in central Europe, a group of influential theologians coined the term “crisis theology” to describe the Christian approach to the human predicament. We live vulnerable lives, they said, not only endangered by the permutations of nature but also by history itself, particularly by the actions of careless and reckless people around us. Perhaps they were projecting their time and place on the rest of us, since most of them had experienced the horrors of the First World War, the chaos of its aftermath and the turbulence of their deeply divided Euro-centric societies. They were also about to face the unthinkable violence and loss of the Second World War.
Recently in the United States, we have had our share of cares and challenges. The specter of international terrorism heaved into view in 2001, financial dangers emerged in 2008, and, for some time, the acrimony in our political life, exploited by an expanded media, has been less than exemplary.
Now we face a new disruption: COVID-19, the Coronavirus.
As we respond to the new needs of our situation, we are being called upon to live more sacrificially, to give up some of our familiar ways and to stand alert both for ourselves and our families, as well as for others. While it is difficult to imagine a mandate more diametrically opposed to the spirit of the gospel than “social distancing,” this is clearly the path of wisdom.
Our faith can offer us strength and courage, as indeed it does. And yet common sense is never to be overlooked. The word wisdom is a big-little word in holy scripture, and neither is it so small in the history of our spiritual practice. Taking every precaution, as science and medicine direct, is a good habit to cultivate.
So our bishops are leading us to play it safe, to suspend public worship and other gatherings, and to find alternate ways to stay connected. We can be thankful for their clarity and direction. We bid your prayers for all our leaders, sacred and secular.
The world wide web is one avenue of continued connectivity, as we all know. In the coming weeks, we will be summoned to rely more and more on technology, on websites and blogs, on videos and live streaming. Not a bad way to go, given the necessities of the hour.
We invite you to tune in here and stay in touch. It is not just Christianity but common sense. Seek wisdom and pursue it. For us, as followers of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the new scare can become the new care. Much grace as we journey this new road together.
Rev Dr J A Cerrato, Rector, Saint Martin’s, CF
Coping with Coronavirus/Resources
FYI INFORMATION ON CORONAVIRUS IS AVAILABLE HERE https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
SHELTER IN PLACE ORDER BY THE GOVERNOR OF OHIO Stay Home Order 3.22.20
MESSAGE FROM BISHOP HOLLINGSWORTH APRIL 24, 2020 Gmail – A Pastoral Letter from the Bishop
MESSAGE FROM BISHOP HOLLINGSWORTH MARCH 23, 2020 Gmail – A Message from Bishop Hollingsworth_ Latest Updates Regarding the Coronavirus Crisis
EPISCOPAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT/ RESPONDING TO EPIDEMICS https://www.episcopalrelief.org/what-we-do/us-disaster-program/faith-based-response-to-epidemics/
USING ZOOM TO CONFERENCE FACE-TO-FACE WITH OTHERS https://zoom.us/
In Memoriam The Reverend Dr Richard N Ottaway
We commend to God Almighty the soul of Dick Ottaway, a colleague some years ago in the Diocese of New Jersey, who died in March in Massachusetts from complications related to Coronavirus. A South Carolinian who taught economics for many years in university, he assisted in the rebuilding of Saint Bernard’s Church, Bernardsville, NJ, between 2006-2008, where I worked with him in ministry. We bid your prayers for Elaine, his wife, and his family. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.
Rev J A Cerrato