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Spiritual Reflections
from a Distance

Reflections on the Anglican Way of Life
Short essay, photographs, poems, and other art

Dear Parishioners,

Below are some emails I have received from your fellow parishioners written in this state of self-isolation and social distancing. The hardest part for me is not seeing you and having the opportunity to hang out together. The Zoom classes have certainly eased some of the loneliness I have experienced in this long period of separation. These emails from our parish family are reflections I have returned to and personally benefited from. I think you may be lifted by one another in this manner as well. You are invited to share with parishioners your thoughts, photos, poems, or simply letters that may be uplifting and encouraging.

All Lenten blessings.

Fr. Glenn

Our next Zoom class is TODAY (Wednesday, 3/25, being the Feast of the Annunciation) at 7:30 p.m.
Click this link to join: 

Reflections on the Real Presence

from Anne Hughes

As a Protestant Christian I always winked at the idea that the Lord’s Supper was anything more than a mental exercise.  The Lord told us to do it, so that’s fine, but these elements of bread and wine are only there to jog our thinking into “remembrance” of the Lord’s death for us.  Precious indeed, but there was no confusion in my mind as to whether or not there was any thing else going on.

As I’ve learned more about the ancient church practices, and also, been honest with the clear teachings of Holy Scripture, I’ve realized this view falls short.  

Then came the Coronavirus.  

Having to keep a distance from everyone, including those we love and feel responsible for, has brought entirely new reflections.  We are now experiencing what “distance” feels like, lived on an everyday basis. The issue struck uncomfortably close to home when we found out our daughter may have come down with the virus.  She has been isolated in her home. We, of course, are strictly forbidden to come to her house to care for her. We’d just read the tragic stories of people in Italy and other countries, where the older grandparent was dying alone in hospital, no family allowed.  Tragic indeed. Our daughter does not have serious symptoms and may not have the disease; but not to be near her during a time of need, as we normally would, feels wrong.

This situation has caused me to reflect on how the Lord cares for us as His children.  I asked myself, “If the Lord loves us, cares for us, and gave Himself for us; if He said that He would be with us always, why is there no physical, material reality of that in our lives?”  We are, after all, material beings, and we know that He is too, having a human body for eternity. If being present to those we love is part of our lives, then where is He? You can see now why suddenly the “real presence” has taken on new meaning for me.  I plan to meditate on this truth even more now. The Lord is truly with us. He’s told us that the bread and wine and are his body and blood. Material things. Suddenly it’s making more sense.   

Some Thoughts on Anglican Formation and Common Prayer During a Pandemic

from Thomas Fickley

(Note: Read to the end to get details on purchasing a prayer dieu from Thomas!)


This morning we set up our living room for morning prayer with the parish at 10:00. We can't meet our fellow parishioners in person right now, yet our parish has the daily office, and many of our families gathered around the same time in their own homes for common prayer. At our house we are trying to save elements of the liturgy the boys love-- the flowers, candles, and a procession with a cross and hymn remind the boys of what we're doing with the church and help them focus for prayers. We tried a similar setup last week, and I was impressed with their enthusiasm.   

The best part is they know what to do! Their Anglican formation has come in handy in wonderful ways despite our separation (in body) during the pandemic. From their many Sundays participating in the mass-- not squirreled away out of sight and ear-shot-- they know how to pray with other people, and the order of the service keeps them on the tracks. I saw some beautiful evidence of good formation earlier today.  

When I was about to start a short lesson on the gospel reading (which the boys asked me to chant), Adam interrupted to tell me I forgot the announcements. I told him to make them, and he said "the beautiful altar flowers this week are given to the glory of God by Johnny and James" (who picked the flowers from our garden). Johnny interrupted the gospel chanting from John 6 to shout "I know this story from sister Linda's class!" The timing was poor, but his joy over knowing the scriptures was brilliant. Both of them have been shaped by their worship at All Saints. 

Other than that, they prayed the Our Father, said the Nicene Creed together, sang Hymn 151 to the tune of the Tallis Cannon, and stood and knelt at all the right times. Common prayer is a gift for the growth of little souls! I realized this morning that they know more about piety, prayer, and devotion than I did until I was a teenager. Amazing. 

Anything familiar breeds fondness with young ones. A few years ago they saw a prie-dieu that I had built and asked if I could make some that were their size. We now have one for each of the boys who are old enough to talk. We use them daily, but now that we're saying morning prayer on Sunday morning they are especially useful for giving the boys a place to go and reminding them about what they are doing. 

I want to find a way to get more of these children's prayer desks to families at the parish that want them for their children. They are small enough for bedrooms or in-home chapel corners, give the kids a place to go for prayers, one which they recognize and know how to use from the mass, and are pretty affordable. I can make the oak ones for c. $40-$50 and pine for $20 or less. 

They are pretty simple, but they have made our family's prayer life easier and more joyful. 

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42

Contact us at:
3889 Ivy Road
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
(434) 979-2842

Fr. Spencer:
Fr. Sean:

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All Saints Anglican Church · 3889 Ivy Road · Charlottesville, Va 22903 · USA

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