September 20, 2020
Hello my St James friends—
Every inch of my body is yearning for a smidge of normalcy—have you noticed that in yours too? Something about the program year, the relative laissez-faire of summer transforming into the structured rhythm of fall, always beckons me to ‘return’ to whatever I might consider ‘typical’. Our muscle memories are deep and pervasive, and this year is no exception.
The church is known as the ‘body of Christ’—that somehow, with our differences, together we make up the body of the one who has known disappointment and anxiety and frustration, and who has also known love, friendship, mercy and joy. In our ‘body’ these days, we know all aspects of this pandemic. Please be gentle on your bodies, and on your souls. You may feel overwhelmed, and you may feel that you aren’t doing enough. You may have great anxiety over the future, and you may have had very little in your lives change. While it is impossible to minister to all people at all times in all seasons (no matter what St Paul believed), here at St James we want to do two things this fall: 1) keep some of our normal communal life as it has been, and 2) take the opportunity to consider how we might adapt our ministry, prayer and fellowship for the next year.
To know how to do both of those things, we would very much encourage you to spend five minutes filling out this . This not only lets us know how our ministries for the past six months have been received, but also allows us to ask of you how we can both a) keep some traditions and b) create something new for this new time. We need your input to make good use of our, and your, time, prayer and energy in these next months. Even if you haven’t attended a Zoom worship, or been in touch with St James these past few months, we’d like to hear from you. Just as the body of Christ is made up of individuals, so is our parish made up of different experiences. Please take a moment and fill the out by Sunday, September 27th, 2020.
In the meantime, we have ongoing opportunities for pause and prayer; bible study; formation through the Sacred Ground program; collaboration with other parishes (get ready for September 27th with St Peter’s Church, Cambridge!); new ways of hearing St James music, and even a way to get your Baked Bean fix and do your creative projects with friends. As I once heard a bishop candidate describe change, “It will be differently great.”
Most of all, to those of you who are weary as this season goes on for much longer than you imagined, please come and rest for a while in the love and grace of God through this community. Plug in and listen to the prayers (video can always be off!). Join a 15 minute Compline service where others can hold the space for you at the end of a long day. Meet us on the lawn one evening for Evening Prayer, and see the faces of those who are holding prayer for this community and the world. I wrote about , in fact, and how it can weigh on the heart. But there is also much to learn through it.
With blessings, love and deep patience and resilience—