The Gospel stories appointed for the weeks of Lent have in one way or another been about seeing. Nicodemus, the Jewish leader, comes to Jesus in the dark of night. He wants to see who Jesus is, but he finds it hard to come to faith when he can only see the taken-for-granted reality around him. The Samaritan woman encounters Jesus at Jacob's well and is able to see herself in a whole new way. This coming Sunday, we'll hear the story of the man blind from birth who receives his sight from Jesus. We hear these stories in this season because Jesus invites us to look beyond the world as we usually see it and receive the new vision of the world as God envisions it, and see ourselves as we really are-- God's beloved children.
In these days it's easy to see ourselves as isolated. It's easy to become frightened by the news of the spread of the coronavirus that seems more dire every day. We might wonder when it will all be over. We wonder what the world will look like on the other side of all this.
As Christians during this time, let's pray for the grace of new vision. Can we see that we are all in this together? Can we see that those we encounter at a distance are dealing with the same fears we are? Can we help people see compassion and hope even when it's difficult? And can we see Jesus, our crucified and risen Lord who is with us and already ahead of us? He will bring us through this.
I know we all will try as best we can to live as disciples in the middle of a pandemic. We will continue to help those who need food from our food pantry. We will continue to gather virtually as the people of God on Sundays and in other opportunities we have. We can be agents of support and love with people in our neighborhoods. In all of this, we are not alone. Our Lord is with us, our faith community is with us, and we are only a call or a message away. Don't hesitate to reach out. The ways we have for meeting online are listed in this update. Please join us so we can lean on one another.
We have a request of you. During these days we continue to do ministry the bills still need to be paid. When we don't have physical services, our ability to receive weekly offerings is obviously diminished. We also know that some folks have lost income and will find it harder to give. So, if you are blessed with ongoing income, we encourage you to please continue giving via the Give Plus app, or through the donations button on our website. It's key for us to see the gift of abundance we have received and share it with gratitude.
Siblings in Christ-- let's re-vision, re-imagine, look ahead, knowing that we will come out of this. God will make a way in the wilderness for us. Look ahead to that first Sunday when we are able physically to come together at St. John's. What a glorious Easter celebration that will be! Blessings to all of you. We ask for your prayers as we continue to pray for you
Sunday morning prayer will continue to be streamed, from Clergy House, at 11:00 a.m. in our Facebook page here. Once the stream begins you may need to reload the page or select the ● Live option in the left side menu.
Sunday night read compline will be streamed from the Eichhorn home, also on Facebook live. After compline there will be a time for hanging out digitally on Zoom. Install Zoom on your smart phones and learn more about their application in their Youtube series Zoom 101.
The Wednesday Stations of the Cross video will be edited to include a new meditation each week for the remaining weeks of Lent. That will uploaded to our Youtube page here. Details are still to be determined, but you can find it there each Wednesday evening.
Fathers Mark and Dan will continue Wednesday afternoon town hall meetings via Facebook live in our private parish group, My St. John's.
Giving is still important to the operation of the church in these interesting times. You can give online through our website donation platform here, or by the mobile version Give Plus on Android or iPhone. Continue to collect your Lenten offerings in your mite boxes, because the Food Pantry will be particularly important in the coming months.