August Rector's Letter
Dear Parish Family,
Two Great Weekends in a Row
We’ve had two very positive and uplifting weekends in a row here at St. Laurence!
On Sunday August 9, we celebrated St. Laurence Day, and gave thanks to God for 69 years of ministry and witness. We celebrated the normal masses, and then we had a big “drive-by” type event, which had a much larger than expected turnout. We were so glad to have seen so many! We kept the BBQ tradition alive by serving BBQ to-go. A big thanks to Ken Stone and the team of guys who put that together for us. We also had a few give-aways for kids and adults, including a devotional booklet for this moment in time. If you didn’t pick one up, you can look at it here. We are all so blessed to belong to this amazing family of faith and we pray that God continues to increase our witness in the years ahead.
This last weekend was also a great blessing for us, with our new Curate, Fr. Matthew Rogers, being ordained to the priesthood and celebrating his first masses. He's now busy blessing our people and ministering in the name of Our Lord.
Blessings this Sunday for Students and Teachers
Right around the time that school starts up each year, we usually call all the students and teachers forward for prayer and a blessing. Given that, we will be offering blessings and prayers for each student or teacher that desires them both after each service and as a drive-by out front of the Church between services this Sunday.
If you’re in Church this Sunday, just stay afterwards, and come forward family by family and one of the priests will pray for you and your student then. If you’re not attending in-person, you can still participate in a prayer and blessing for your student by driving over here on Sunday morning from 9:45-10:15, staying in your car, and one of our priests will pray for and bless your family individually.
Parent's Day Out and Nursery are Opening
Tues, Sept. 1, Parent's Day Out opens and Sun, Sept. 6, our nursery opens in-person.
Parent's Day Out will be in session with its normal schedule, 9:00am-2:00pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Nursery will be open on Sunday mornings during our services and will be by registration only so that we can keep the number of children low, to 6 children at one time.
I know that this news will be a great encouragement for some and a source of anxiety for others. What we all need to know is that we are following all of the guidelines recommended for child care by the State of Texas and the CDC. We have held several trainings with our nursery and Parents’ Day Out staff and will be doing our very best to create a fun, safe, and healthy environment as we care for the littlest and cutest members of God’s family. We will be staying flexible and constantly evaluating what is happening in the community around us as we open these two ministries back up for our kids.
Day of Prayer in Dallas and Fort Worth
Both the Mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth have declared today, Wed. August 19, a day of prayer. They are asking people of faith to pray for healing and restoration for the sick and for all affected medical personnel, businesses, families, and schools. I suspect that many of us already are praying for these needs every day, but if you’re not, please do add special prayers today for the sick, all health care workers, students and teachers, and moms and dads.
Loving Others on Social Media
Several members of the Church family have shared with me their distress about the state of discourse on social media over the last few weeks. In particular, some have shared with me that they are saddened to see the St. Laurence family divided on Facebook. While there have always been things that this family of faith has disagreed about, one of the hallmarks of our life together as a Parish family has been a sense of community, belonging, love, and support. I hope the same continues to be said of us during these difficult and divided times.
Some, it seems, have made it their habit to shame others who do not hold the same perspective on the major issues of the moment. If you have taken that approach, I would encourage you to cease. St. Paul tells us that we should "speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) and unfortunately social media doesn’t frequently lend itself very well to this approach. Please remember St. Paul’s words as you engage in any type of discourse, especially on social media platforms.
Looking Ahead to Fall
While the Fall will not be quite as busy around the Parish as it normally would, we are planning on adding several ministry opportunities beginning in mid-September. Be on the lookout for a Sunday evening outdoor Eucharist. We’ll have both outdoor and Zoom Sunday School options. CrossWord Bible Study will be back this Fall. It also will have both online and in-person options. The ministry of the Body of Christ goes forward. We are planning on events that we think both make sense at this moment in time and will be a great encouragement for the faithful. Be on the lookout for all of the details over the next several weeks.
With love and the assurance of my prayers,
Fr. John Jordan