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St. Paul's
Episcopal Church

Letter to the Community

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Hello St. Paul’s Parishioners:

 

First, I want to express my hopes that you all remain healthy amid this global pandemic.  It is truly a strange time in which we are living in.  It makes me wonder how people managed during the flu pandemic that rocked the world in the early 1900s.  

 

Secondly, I have had the pleasure of attending the Bishop’s weekly meetings on Wednesday’s (though due to my working from home schedule not all the meetings), a training put on by Canons Robin Hammeal-Urban and Lee Ann Tolzmann about effective leadership moving forward, I have stayed in touch with Maggie Breen (our regional missionary), P.A.C.H.E.M. (Plainfield Area Churches and Ecumenical Ministries) and other local church leaders--mainly Trinity Brooklyn’s own Rev. Jane Hale.  In our most recent conversations she said she would be willing to assist anyone in need of pastoral care.  If you would like her contact information please connect with me.  Please know that the diocese sends out information and updates regularly.  The bishops of ECCT will be attending a virtual meeting with other bishops to discuss what church--specifically the Eucharist will look like at this time.  We ask you all to continue to pray for our church leaders that they come to a positive solution for all.  

 

The bishops and canons of ECCT suggest strongly that CT parishes remain in the current practice of not meeting in person during this phase one.  Ideally phase one will be complete by June 20th however this date is not set in stone.  If COVID-19 cases increase then we may be in phase one longer or go back to what we are currently at now.  ECCT has come out with a document called Living with COVID-19: Protocols and Directions for Clergy and Vestries in the Episcopal Church in CT.  Contents include a letter from the bishops, general protocols in the first phase of reopening, directions for those considering in-person worship indoors or outside, directions for those considering reopening parish offices, and additional steps and questions to consider.  If anyone is interested in reading the document please let me know I’ll forward the link to you.  The vestry of St. Paul’s has a lot to consider over the coming weeks/ months.  We want to keep you all safe and healthy.  I know I would feel horrible if I got anyone sick.  

 

This is an important time for us to discern as a vestry and as a parish what mass will look like when we do meet in person again.  Will all shared resources (hymnals, books of common prayer, bibles and anything else) be removed from the pews as it is difficult to sanitize those materials. How will we do peace? Will we have coffee hour? How will Sunday School be run? Will there be music and if so will there be singing--as singers are being told to be 25ft away from others, will all singing need to be recorded? How will everyone sit 6ft apart?  The list of questions to consider continues… Vestry meetings are public--if you wish to voice your opinion or listen to a vestry meeting let me know so I can give you the zoom invitation.  You will have a voice but not a vote.  The only vestry meetings that are not public are executive meetings which deal usually with very personal details and are to be used rarely--some churches never have executive meetings.  If you cannot attend a meeting but have questions or concerns that you would like answered by the vestry please email / call/ mail me (or another member of the vestry) those concerns, my contact information will be listed below.  Know that there may be questions you have that we have no answer to as of yet.  

 

I miss church, I miss all of you and going to the church today to check on things Killian RAN to the church he was SO EXCITED, he went inside and shouted “hello?” and no one answered.  I needed to take a minute, he even wanted to look in the hall--so I don’t know if he misses the people or the goodies from the coffee hour but he misses something! I feel frustrated because I just want this to be over.  We have all been violated by this pandemic and it is perfectly natural and normal to have those feelings.  I’m also feeling thankful to have extra time to spend with my children.  I’m not driving 45 minutes to work, no one needs to watch them currently because I’m always home, Alistair has been such a joy and Killian is starting to say more words.  They are getting so big and I’m so thankful to have this time to watch them grow--as so much growing occurs in the first few years.  Anyway the point of this is that if you would like a look at the feelings wheel I can send a copy or you can look up on google “feelings wheel.” I am not sure if the chart explaining the difference of the categories will be included. 

 

I pray all these unknowns do not make you too anxious.  I hope you all are well and remain healthy and safe.  I hope this pandemic is over sooner rather than later.  I hope that if you feel you are being called to vestry or an officer position you think and pray on what gifts you have to help St. Paul’s.  My term as senior warden is over in January at the annual meeting--per our by-laws and personal needs I cannot run for another two years.  I’m saying it now because I do not know when we will be meeting again in person.  If you feel like you are being called feel free to talk with me or another member of the vestry. 

 

Please continue to look at the website and / or facebook page for updates.  I’m following other churches' examples by not posting on news stations that we are closed.  When I go to St. Paul’s I ring the bells to let the community know we are still “here.” We are still praying with them and for them, if any of you go to church to mow the grass or take care of the mail or other business please ring the bells as well.  Just remember anything you touch to disinfect upon your leaving. Financially St. Paul’s is doing well, and it is doing so well in a large part because of your commitment to the pledges.  THANK YOU!!  We are able to pay all our bills and pay 2 more payments in for the diocesan debt.  We are nearly caught up which is wonderful news.  

 

To wrap up, we are continuing to suspend in person service. If you would like to mow the lawn please contact David H as he has the list. Upon reopening you will be notified. Continue to pray for our church and world leaders as they have a lot to consider.  Suspension of in-person services includes communion, priests and eucharistic ministry are on hold at this time for everyone’s protection. 

 

Sincerely, 

Alisha Knox

St. Paul’s Plainfield, Senior Warden

Cell: 860-942-0369 (call/ text); email: st.pauls.plainfield.warden@gmail.com


See below for helpful links:
Trinity Brooklyn Video page:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/trinitychurchbrooklyn/videos/

Episcopal Church of CT diocesan page on updates on COVID-19 and resources:
https://www.episcopalct.org/covid-19-coronavirus-updates/  from here you can click on other helpful sites

Digital services offered throughout ECCT: https://www.episcopalct.org/Customer-Content/www/CMS/files/4_10_2020_parish_livestream.pdf

All safe church trainings for spring and summer have been postponed dates are still TBD

Lectionary page: https://www.lectionarypage.net/CalndrsIndexes/Calendar2020.html

BCP online: https://episcopalchurch.org/files/book_of_common_prayer.pdf

Bible online (NRSV or New Revised Standard Version): https://www.biblestudytools.com/nrs/

See next page for lectionary readings now through June.
April 25th is the Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist
Collect: Almighty God, by the hand of Mark the evangelist you have given to your Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank you for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Readings: Isaiah 52:7-10, Ephesians 4:7-8,11-16, Mark 1:1-15 or Mark 16:15-20, and Psalm 2 or 2:7-10

April 26th Third Sunday of Easter
Collect: O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Readings: Acts 2:14a, 36-41, 1 Peter 1:17-23, Luke 24:13-35, Psalm 116:1-3, 10-17

May 1st Feast Day of St. Philip and St. James, Apostles
Collect: Almighty God, who gave to your apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to the truth: Grant that we, being mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Readings: Isaiah 30:18-21, 2 Corinthians 4:1-6, John 14:6-14, Psalm 119:33-40

May 3rd Fourth Sunday of Easter
Collect: O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Readings: Acts 2:42-47, 1 Peter 2:19-25, John 10:1-10, Psalm 23


May 10th Fifth Sunday of Easter
Collect: Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Readings: Acts 7:55-60, 1 Peter 2:2-10, John 14:1-14, Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16


May 17th Sixth Sunday of Easter
Collect: O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Readings: Acts 17:22-31, 1 Peter 3:13-22, John 14:15-21, Psalm 66:7-18


May 21st Ascension Day
Collect: Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

or this

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Readings: Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53, Psalm 47 or Psalm 93


May 24th Seventh Sunday of Easter
Collect: O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen

Readings: Acts 1:6-14, 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11, John 17:1-11, Psalm 68:1-10, 33-36



May 31st Pentecost Sunday / Whitsunday
Collect: Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

or this

O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Readings: Acts 2:1-21or Numbers 11:24-30, 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 or Acts 2:1-21,
John 20:19-23 or John 7:37-39, Psalm 104:25-35, 37

Fun Fact for Whitsunday: The Sunday of the feast of Pentecost, seven weeks after Easter, when traditionally many Christians would be baptized, wearing white clothes. According to: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Whitsunday

June 1st The Visitation
Collect: Father in heaven, by your grace the virgin mother of your incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping your word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Readings: 1 Samuel 2:1-10, Romans 12:9-16b/a>, Luke 1:39-57, Psalm 113

Collects and lists for Readings taken from:
https://www.lectionarypage.net/CalndrsIndexes/Calendar2020.html