E-Newsletter for Sunday, March 22, 2020

Staying Connected, Church Being Church, and more in the E-Newsletter for March 22, 2020 – Available in full Haga clic aquí para ver el mensaje de esta semana en español de nuestro misionero latino, Luis Valencia. 

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP

Dear *|FNAME|*

It truly has been amazing how quickly things have changed and developed as our country—and global community—grapples with the Coronavirus pandemic.

With at least one confirmed case in our county, and the risk only rising, this past week our Bishop released a Pastoral Directive closing all churches and cancelling all in-person gatherings between now and May 10. I followed that up with a new Pastoral Message, detailing how we would implement that directive at St. John's, along with a video introduction to that Message.

As I shared on the private Facebook Members Group earlier this week, this crisis brings the opportunity for us truly to be church to one another. In this first full week of social distancing, we are keenly aware of the burden this will place upon some in our community—particularly those who are older and should not leave the house at all, perhaps for several weeks. We want to make you aware of two things.

First, Greater Ottawa County United Way (GOCUW) is mobilizing their volunteer network to connect those in need of any kind of assistance (food distribution, daycare, transportation, etc.). You can find out more about how to sign up to be a volunteer—and how to ask for help when you need it—online here.

Second, in our own congregation we have mobilized a CaringSJE e-mail group for those who would be willing to help their fellow parishioners in this time of social distancing. To be added to the email group, please contact the office and ask to be added to the CaringSJE group. When a need comes in to the office, Cindi will post it on an online tracking spreadsheet and then email a link to that spreadsheet, with the need added, to the group so that someone can volunteer to help.

If you need any help or assistance during this time—whether that is transportation, groceries dropped off on your doorstep, meals, or anything else—please reach out to Cindi so that we can share that need with the CaringSJE group and take care of one another. One of the first things we have invited volunteers in that group to do is to call our older members in order to check in on them, make sure they are OK, and see if there is anything we could help them with.

Please continue to stay safe and follow the guidelines and recommendations of health authorities during this time. You can continue to be plugged in and connected to your church family in a variety of ways.
  • This Sunday, at 10am, I will offer a service of Morning Prayer with a Sermon on our YouTube channel. You can access the stream of that service directly online here. I will stream this liturgy from my home, with Nick streaming music from his home into the service. The bulletin for the liturgy will be online here.
  • Faith Formation continues as well! Reyna is emailing parents Godly Play lessons and opportunities for formation at home (if you are not getting those emails, click here to ask Cindi to add you to the email group for Sunday School parents). I am also continuing to lead an online version of our Lenten Series: A Spring in the Desert. You can join that online class here.
  • At 12:45pm Our Latinx Missioner, Luis Valencia, will offer prayers in Spanish with a reflection on the Gospel, live-streamed on the El Corazón Facebook Page.
  • Then, at 8:30pm this Sunday, I will offer stream of Sung Compline from my home to help close your day of worship. You can access the stream of that service directly online here
Then, during the week, we will continue the plan laid out in my Pastoral Message.
  • Every day there will be a time you can click on a Zoom link to access a virtual video meeting space on Zoom and check-in with your fellow parishioners. Click here for the schedule of hosts, theme, times, and the links for each day's meeting. They start tonight at 5pm, with Deb Wakerley hosting the first check-in!
  • Monday through Thursday at 12:30pm I will offer Noonday Prayer with a reflection on the Gospel on our Parish Facebook Page.
  • Tuesdays at 2pm I will lead a Bible Study, looking at the readings for the coming Sunday, through the Zoom meeting platform online here.
  • And our Loving Spoonfuls and Food Pantry Ministries will continue to provide support for those in need using the curbside delivery methods outlined in my Pastoral Message
The developments of this past week have certainly shaped how we are all walking through the Lenten wilderness. Even though we are practicing social distancing, let's work to remain connected in the variety of other ways available to us. We do not need to walk this journey alone. 

Through Grace,

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, March 22, 2020 online here

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