Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Our Life Together - A Letter from Fr. Michael

3/20/2020

My sisters and brothers, 

It’s been a strange, hard week. So much seems to have changed, and some of what has been and will be lost in this time will never return. One thing that has been made abundantly clear to me over this past week is your love for God and one another. That love compels you to gather as closely as you can to one another before God. I was deeply moved last Sunday by our Zoom worship, seeing your faces, watching you respond, and reading your intercessions and thanksgivings in the Chat box. I’ve been so encouraged by your enthusiasm and presence at Daily Morning Prayer, and our newly established Daily Compline (Bedtime Prayers). 

We don’t know how long the ideal of social distancing will be in place. The conditions of this pandemic are so fluid and uneven, and I urge you to stay current with and follow the CDC’s proposed guidelines. Those guidelines can be found at the CDC web site: https://www.cdc.gov and the Virginia State Department of Health web site:  http://www.vdh.virginia.gov. The bishop is holding weekly video conferences with the clergy to keep us connected and informed. This past week included the sad news that our parishes will remain closed for public worship at least through Easter. That means Holy Week and Easter worship will be very different. 

The very good news is that several of the congregations of our region are pulling together to be as creative and collaborative as possible. We are convicted that worship is central to who we are as Christ’s body in the world, so what is needed in this time is more worship. To that end, right now, we are worshipping through the video-conferencing platform, Zoom. We are offering daily Morning Prayer at 8:00 a.m. and Compline at 8:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. For those who may be a little intimidated by this technology, I encourage to view these tutorial resources that Therese Chaplin and Jen Fisher found and compiled and were included in Therese’s email of Tuesday, March 17th. I encourage your fullest available participation. 

And if worship shapes us more and more into the people God has created and called us to be, then worship sends us into the world to sow faith, hope, and love, most particularly in times such as these. In the coming days, we will have outreach opportunities for you to engage, and opportunities to participate in the pastoral care so needed by our most fragile, isolated, and vulnerable. More worship also means more mindfulness of and service to the needs of the world, all in Christ’s name and to Christ’s glory. 

The season will change. This pandemic will end. The markets will stabilize. People will get back to work. And while we wait for all of this, life goes on. Our life as the church goes on with even greater clarity and urgency that we are God’s people. We bask in the comfort of this faith. And, we will rise to our faith’s challenge to shine God’s light into this darkness. 

I am yours in Christ, 

Michael


3/19/2020
One Fairfax: COVID-19 Updates and Information
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