Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  ~ Ephesians 4:2

Dear Ones,

For two weeks I have wanted to share a letter about Spiritual Communion, but it always gets pre-empted by other topics. Today it will be again, sadly – but I promise to talk about it soon. This virus is a moving target, but every day we learn more about how it transmits and how to best help those who are sick. I am grateful for your safety and health and pray that you all continue to weather this storm.

We are working very hard on our plan for re-opening all while continuing to host online services and Christian formation offerings. When we get the green light to re-open, it will be in phases, slowly, backed up by medical and scientific knowledge, with guidance from the CDC.  We are also consulting with the relevant governmental authorities, principally the federal government and the state of Florida.  The senior staff are hard at work balancing the various considerations.

In the meantime, remember that, while it may be a poor cousin to being together in person, we are doing much to keep you connected to your church and your faith.  Please see What’s Happening at Christ Church on the church website to participate.  And as always, your clergy are available for pastoral care.  Give them a call.  Those numbers are also on the website here.

If you can, please remember to keep current with your pledge or other gift to Christ Church. I know that it seems like a lot to ask, considering the fact that we cannot open the campus yet, but we incur most of our expenses whether we are open or not.  And, as we cannot “pass the plate” as we usually do, we need your help.  As always, if you are experiencing financial hardship because of the pandemic, please know that I thank you for your intention to give, even as you may not be able to give materially.  Thank you all for everything that you have been doing to support Christ Church, both in prayer and in action, in this strange and awful time.  Christ have mercy.

And so, to the verse… our selection for this week comes from the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians.  When Paul wrote those words, he was in prison.  I know that we may feel like we are in prison of sorts, but Paul really was in chains.  It should give us pause to remember that, though we are walking through some hardship, we can also have hope. As Paul exhorts us, we should try to live a life worthy of our calling. Part of your call, your vocation, and the vocation of every disciple (not just clergy), is to be patient.  I know it is challenging.  But it is also good, and I’m told, a virtue.

And, if I could continue with Paul, bear with each other in love.  While some of you want to re-open yesterday, some of you want to wait until there is a vaccine in (hopefully) December, we all have to guard the unity of our dear Christ Church and be at peace with each other.  We will get through this together because, as Paul said, now famously, “there is one body and one Spirit… one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all…”

Keep the faith, saints.  I love you and I miss you.  We will be back together soon.

Fr. Tom