Christ Church Parish
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ALL IN PERSON ACTIVITIES ARE SUSPENDED
UNTIL THE END OF THE EMERGENCY
We live now in a situation none of us has ever experienced. "Fear is all around", says the Psalmist, and such words are applicable today in a way we never expected. Fear for one's life is a natural response to the pandemic. Fear for the lives of loved ones, fear for the tanking of the economy, fear for the future of society and the church are reactions that all we are experiencing in different measures. Grief for the loss of so many lives is going to grow inevitably within us as we are human beings who are made to feel the pain of others as well as our own.
Our ancestors have weathered pestilences and wars. We, who have better means to confront the present situation than they ever did, are discovering yet again our impotence. Our collective sense of invincibility and all sorts of false securities lie shattered. We wish vulnerability would be something we can choose, perhaps as means to further our spiritual journey, and yet we find ourselves thrown into its depths against our will.
Our reactions in uncertain times can be varied. It is important that we do not judge the ways in which others cope with their feelings. We are all reacting to trauma, each in our own individual way. Being silly, or despondent, or lazy, or snappy, etc. it's forgivable right now, more than usual. Being kind to each other is always a good course of action. In this strange season we need to be extra kind to ourselves in the first place, allowing ourselves and others as much time to rest as possible.
Our sadness is compounded by the fact that this year it will be impossible for us to celebrate Easter together like normal. We anticipate great rejoicing when we are able to get together again. As many of your have said, “then it will be really Easter.”
I have been following the news from Italy more closely than most and am in constant contact with family and friends who live there. As the epidemic started in Italy about a month before California had its first confirmed cases of COVID 19, I learned in advance about the virulence of the contagion and its course. This is one of the reasons why I foresee that containment measures may be prolonged for quite a while here in California as well.
I am glad that you are taking adequate precautions and staying healthy, as I have been gleaning from my phone conversations, the reports of Vestry members who are calling each of you weekly, and from the daily online chat. You are all invited, Monday through Thursday 4pm, to ZoomChat as a way of staying connected as well as exchange information.
Those of you who do not have access to electronic means of communication but receive this letter by post, are warmly invited to call Tamara Lindvall, Don Sevier (senior warden) or me to express needs that have arisen. We are committed to help.
Our parish assistant, Ashanti Smalls, is able to go to the office and work on regular tasks. If you are in need to be on campus for whatever reason, however, you should let him know in advance. I am not allowing any meeting of more than two people on our campus for the time being (at a distance, of course).
As a kind of joint program between the parish and the Center for Spirituality, there will be one class online, starting after Easter, with the title: "The Resurrection of Jesus and all humanity" taught by Dr. James Dunkly and myself.
I bid your prayers for all those who are involved in the healing efforts, and especially for the three members of our parish who work in hospital chaplaincy at this very tender moment: Marie Barna, Jana Milhon-Martin, and Jonathan Stoner.
I bid your prayers for our sister Katherine Morsberger, who left us last week in the hope of joining her dear husband Bob who preceded her by a few months.
I bid your prayers for all the sick, the deceased, and their families.
I bid your prayers for the members of your parish community, that we may came out of this time stronger and even more connected than ever.
CHRIST CHURCH PARISH - 1127N San Antonio Avenue, Ontario, California, 91762