Letter from Mother Tami: Week of Sunday, March 22, 2020
Hello All Saints’,
Love and peace to you in these most extraordinary of circumstances. I want you to know that I continue to hold each one of you in prayer, love, and deep concern. I have “seen” many of you on Zoom during our daily services of Morning Prayer and Compline, bible study, and even a vestry meeting! If you haven’t yet downloaded Zoom, please try and do so….it is a wonderful way to stay connected. If you are having trouble with it or want someone to walk you through how to do it, let me know and I will have one of our new Zoom experts give you a call!
I write also to let you know that Bishop Andrew Dietsche has suspended all public worship in the Diocese of New York until at least May 17th. This means we will not be together in person for Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter (read the full text of Bishop's Dietsche's letter to clergy here). But I want to say to you all: Although the church building is empty and it will be for weeks to come, we are still the church and are interconnected as never before with all of creation, all of humanity. We will continue to have worship via Zoom and will post the videos on our website. We will continue to call one another and check in on one another. We will continue to be Jesus’ hands and feet and heart in this world---and ironically right now the best way to do that is to stay home and heed the rules and recommendations coming from our Governor and health officials.
As I said in my sermon on Sunday, this is hard for us because our natural inclination in times of global or national crises is to come together. And that is the one thing we cannot do right now. But we can be together in spirit, in prayer, in loving emails, texts, and phone calls. School may be closed, but learning continues. Work may shift locations, but the importance of work remains. Concerts can be cancelled, but music cannot. Sporting events can be cancelled but care for our bodies continues. Church buildings may be closed, but worship is eternal. Kindness has not been cancelled. Faith has not been postponed. Love has not been suspended. Our ability to open our hearts to all people has not been closed.
So please try and join us for worship via Zoom---we will gather every Sunday at 10:00 am. This is a temporary shift in our time while we are worshipping virtually as we blend our worship with that of St. Thomas, Mamaroneck, allowing me to be present with both congregations every Sunday. I am working with Elina who will provide me with recorded clips for preludes and postludes. Our four section leaders at St. Thomas have recorded some anthems. So there will be music and prayer and preaching and scripture and it will be good church! We will even have a virtual coffee hour! We will try new ways of worship and of being together. And when we are able to gather physically once again we will rejoice mightily!
The Zoom meeting id number for this Sunday's worship is 947 779 7880. A separate email will follow with more information, including a worship bulletin, instructions for how to load zoom if you haven't already, a way to watch the recorded service on Facebook and a video clip of Elina playing from home!
There will also continue to be Morning Prayer and Compline at 10:00 am and 8:00 pm Monday through Friday. Bible Study at 7:00 pm on Wednesdays and 11:00 am on Thursdays. All on Zoom….watch your emails for the Zoom Meeting ID number.
I will be calling one or two parishioners each day to check in one on one…if you want to speak to me sooner please give me a call at 914-584-1418. We can also set up a Zoom meeting where we can see and hear one another.
I will be sending thoughts, videos, and various distractions to you all in the days, weeks, and yes months ahead.
Please know how very much I love you and I care about you each. We will get through this if for no other reason because our loving God is with us always.
And I close with my favorite blessing, looking forward to the day when I can bless you all in person:
Life is short and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who make the journey with us, so be swift to love, and make haste to be kind; and the wisdom of God, the love of God, and the grace of God strengthen you to be God’s hands and heart in this world, in the name of the one, holy, undivided Trinity. Amen.