WELCOME TO CHURCH AT HOME

WELCOME TO CHURCH AT HOME

The 5th Sunday of Lent, 3/29/20

Church at Home for the 5th Sunday of Lent

To download the bulletin for this morning’s worship, so you can say the responses, please click below.

To download the hymns for this morning’s worship, so you can sing your heart out, please click below.

To download the readings for this Sunday, please click below.

To download the Prayers of the People so you can pray through them throughout the week, please click below.

The 4th Sunday of Lent, 3/22/20

To download the bulletin for this morning’s worship, so you can say the responses, please click below.

To engage in our worship, please copy this link and place in a new browser window, in you find an error with the link below. https://youtu.be/le4AwswrlwM

To listen to the beautiful solo offered for our worship, please click below.

A beautiful offering by Milan Shepherd (vocalist) and Kevin Gorman (pianist).

God calls us to be in relationship with God and with each other. It is through this gathering together of our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls that we form as the Body of Christ; it is through the nourishment received through our life in community, with the breaking open of the Word of the scriptures in our worship services, and through the spiritual feast of the Holy Eucharist, that we are strengthened and nourished as Christians; and it is from this place of love shared with each other and with Christ that we go out to “be the church” in our world, bringing healing and hope to our broken world.

During this time of social distancing and intentional isolation due to COVID-19, we are challenged and invited into discovering new ways that we can come together in community, be fed by the scriptures and the sacraments, and live out our baptismal promises in the world. And we can do this, for God is a God of creation, who calls us to co-create with each breath that we take. With God’s help, we will continue to find meaningful ways of connecting, of gathering for worship, of being nourished spiritually, and by offering our help to those in greater need.

This morning we will begin to worship online, with Mother Barbara offering the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Although you will not physically receive the consecrated bread and wine, you will be connected to this sacrament spiritually and your heart and soul will be touched, for it can be in the offering of the sacrament and the intention to receive the life giving love of Christ that we can be transformed. It is not the same as kneeling at the altar rail and stretching out your hand, but you are encouraged to open your heart and mind to this new experience and allow God, whose love knows no bounds, to make something new happen within you.

This will be new for us and many of us will yearn for everything to quickly get back to “normal” and that is a natural response. Certainly, there will be great rejoicing when we can safely gather together in person in our beautiful sanctuary and feel the fullness of our community and the Holy Eucharist.

In the meantime, I invite you to imagine the following:

  1. How will you prepare the space for your “Church at Home”? Do you already have a sacred space set aside for prayer? If not, where might you create one? What might you want to place in this space (a candle, cross, prayer beads, something from nature)?
  2. How can you draw from your memory the special parts of entering into our sanctuary for worship? What images come to heart (the light through the altar window, the beauty of our altar, the friends you meet, the faithful preparation of the acolytes for worship, your kneeling as you prepare for worship)? Can you take a moment to offer the gratitude you feel in your heart for the other members of our parish and for the gift of our sanctuary?
  3. What rituals can you re-create at home? Can you light a candle as you might at our votive candle stand? Can you fill a beautiful bowl with water and make the sign of the cross on your forehead with it, as you might with our holy water font? Can you sit in silence for a few moments before the service begins?
  4. How will you carry the service forward after engaging in the worship? Are there people with whom you can share the post so they may worship “with you”? Can you reflect on how God spoke to you in the service and what God may be calling you to do or be differently?

This is an invitation to live into our belief that God yearns to meet us wherever we are and if that means in our individual homes, then that is where God will find and meet us. God is everywhere and God’s love will find and transform our hearts as we discover new ways of loving God and each other.