June Rector's letter
Dear Parish Family,
In the June Rector’s letter, we take a look at the re-opening of the Church building and the unrest in our country that is happening right now.
Re-Opening the Church
The full worship schedule is up and running in the Church! I hope you’ll join us soon. We’ve celebrated the Eucharist in the Church the last two mornings with the faithful and it has been a joyous thing to get back into that rhythm which is at the heart of our Parish life. If you’re not quite ready, know that we are keeping you in prayer, will continue to live-stream the Sunday morning worship, and we’ll be here when you are ready.
As you’ve seen, we are taking reservations for the upcoming Sunday services but reservations are not needed for any of the weekday services. If you’d rather worship with a smaller number of brothers and sisters right now, please consider one of our weekday services.
The reason we are taking reservations for the Sunday services is in no way designed to prevent anybody from coming to Church. We will gladly add in as many services as needed in order to accommodate the folks who are ready to come to Church. We are just asking that you let us know so that we can plan accordingly. We’ve limited the number of people that can attend at one time in an attempt to follow the CDC guidelines and the suggestions of Governor Abbott. It seems wise to us to follow the guidelines to the very best of our abilities.
So, let us know you’re coming and we’ll make sure to have a plan to serve you. If you missed the link click here to make a reservation.
The Unrest in Our Country
A lot has happened in our country over the last few months:
- A horrific killing by a police officer of an unarmed African-American man, George Floyd
- Hundreds of thousands of people participating in peaceful protests
- The unleashing of a spirit of lawlessness, including rioting, violence, destruction of businesses and properties, unbridled theft, assaults on bystanders, store owners, the elderly, and police officers
- Covid-19 closing whole countries down, reportedly killing over 100,000 people in the U.S. and creating an economic calamity with tens of millions of people unemployed
- Numerous businesses and churches have had to close down and many will not reopen
- Incredible generosity of strangers helping strangers in the midst of calamity
I am still processing all that has happened and trying my best to wrap my brain around it, but there are a few initial thoughts that I wanted to share:
- My first instinct is to pray and I hope that it's yours too. We believe that God can and does change hearts and minds and so we rightfully turn to Him in prayer. Please pray with me for God to comfort those who are hurting. We certainly need healing in our country and we ask God to bring His healing gifts abundantly to us. Our Archbishop, the Most Rev. Foley Beach, has issued a call for all the faithful to pray and fast for our nation beginning tomorrow June 3. Please join me in praying mightily for our country.
- Some of our Anglican bishops have written a letter, joining just about every other Christian denomination, in condemning racism against black communities and calling for change. I would ask you to read it carefully. In particular, they poignantly say, "We commit ourselves to standing alongside those in the Black community as they contend for a just society, not as some attempt to transform America into the kingdom of God, but as a manifestation of neighborly love and bearing one another’s burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ. We confess that too often ethnic minorities have felt that contending for biblical justice is a burden they bear alone.”
- We can do better. Jesus broke the mold by loving those who were on the margins of society. On the night before he died for us, Jesus washed his disciples feet and then gave them the new commandment to "love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) If we are to love as Jesus loved, then we have to love even in the difficult moments. And surely this is one of them. I hope that all of us strive daily to wash the feet of someone else by serving them, by listening to them, and most of all by showing them the love of Jesus. The world really needs the Church to embody the new commandment right now and I hope that we are metaphorically getting our buckets and towels out right now to serve one another.
- St. John tells us that “perfect love casts out fear.”(1 John 4:18) It is unlikely that everyone agrees on all the issues at the source of the tensions listed above. I hope that instead of giving into the temptation to tell someone how small they are because they disagree with your perspective, that you will instead tell them you love them and remind them of God’s amazing love for them. Remember that Jesus tells us to “love our enemies and pray for them” (Matthew 5:44) and so if you consider someone else to be on “the other side” of an issue, love them too, because our Lord wants us to. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached a sermon on November 17, 1957 and he talked about Jesus’ command to love our enemies. Here is what he had to say: "by giving this command, far from being an impractical idealist, Jesus has become the practical realist. The words of this text glitter in our eyes with a new urgency. Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this command is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even for enemies.” I can only add Amen.
You all are loved and prayed for everyday.
Fr. John Jordan