E-Newsletter for Sunday, March 7, 2021

Spring Gardens, Spaghetti Dinner, SJE Podcasts and more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, March 7, 2021 – Available in full online here.

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|*

One of my absolute favorite parts of Lent is watching the season begin to turn from winter to spring. 

As I've mentioned before, the English word of Lent comes from the old English word from which we also get the word "lengthen." The days begin to lengthen in this season and the increasing amounts of sun brings hope for life renewed. 

Right now the snow piles are melting around the church. The sun is shining through my office windows and I can hear the birds singing. I know that pretty soon the Memorial Garden and St. Francis Garden will start coming to life again. And our Environmental Action Team is currently running their spring spaghetti fundraiser to raise money to expand the Good News Garden to provide even more fresh produce for the hungry and those in need. 

I also had a meeting today with a local artist who works with both wood and stone, Ruben Llano. We spent some time in the Memorial Garden talking about the possibility of installing a simple stone altar in that garden, right in front of the existing granite bench.

The altar could provide a lovely and fixed place for outdoor celebrations of Holy Eucharist during the week when the weather turns. It could also be used at the Great Vigil and even at small burial services. The idea is that the funds to build and install it could come from the money donated to the Undesignated Memorial Fund in honor and memory of Father Kennth, our priest associate who died of COVID late last year. Ruben also talked about inscribing a memorial to him in the altar itself, just as our memory and love for him is inscribed in the hearts of so many of us here. 

Stay tuned. I'll share more about this possibility when I get details from Ruben and the Vestry can begin a formal consideration of the idea. 

Even though COVID numbers seem to be plateauing a bit, not continuing to go down as we had hoped, I still have hope. Vaccine distribution continues to increase, with a new vaccine available this week. I'm hopeful that the risk factors in our state will begin falling once more, that we are only experiencing a slight bump in some areas, and that the diocese will then be able to enable us to move to Phase Two and begin some limited re-entry.

Until then, though, breathe deeply in that beautiful spring air. Life is beginning to poke through the dark and seemingly dead places in our world. Resurrection comes. 

Warmly,

NOTE: Risk levels for our County and Region of the State have finally downgraded below critical by COVID Act Now and the Mi Start Map. However, until the Diocese makes the move to Phase Two, we remain in Phase One of our plan for ministry in the Coronavirus Pandemic. The building is closed and worship is streaming online with no attendance. Continuing this Sunday, though, we are allowing Worship Ministers to offer their ministry live in the church rather than pre-recorded. This will still keep our numbers in the church at ten or less, according to current diocesan guidelines. Please stay safe, wear a mask, and maintain social distance from those outside your own household. 
 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, March 7, 2021 online here

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