The Rev. Noah Evans, Rector
St. Paul several times in his letters refers to the Christian life as a race. As we continue this season of global pandemic, it is becoming clear that this season is a marathon, not a sprint. As the weeks have rolled into months and it is becoming clear that there are many more months still be before us. For me, the novelty has certainly worn off. And no, I am not used to it all yet. As the weather gets cooler, and our outside times become more limited, I hear from many of you a new weariness. Additionally, the divisive politics of our nation, and surrounding our schools, has added another level of exhaustion.
A friend of mine recently said she can really use an injection of hope right now. That is a feeling I certainly identify with. When I look at scripture, I see that almost all the bible was written in time of distress. The psalms were written during a time of exile, Paul wrote many of his letters in prison, the prophets wrote at times of social injustice and the book of revelation was written in response to the experience of persecution. And one consistent theme is that God is faithful. God has not abandoned us. God is moving, even in the darkest times. Paul says in Romans, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword (OR MAY I ADD COVID 19)? …For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I often wonder, what would it be like if I really believed this? What would it be like for us if we really believed it? Would it allow us to face the grief we experience at this time? Would we then be able to see that God has already given us this necessary injection of hope? A kind of vaccine for the weariness we now experience.
At this time, I believe that we need the message of our faith now more than ever. We need each other. We need the life of the church. We need our savior Jesus Christ.
Since June we have been worshipping outside. We know from Public Health officials that this is much safer than being indoors, and distancing is also easy outside. As the weather changes, and our local community continues to experience a lower level of community spread of COVID 19, this Sunday (October 4) we will move our Sunday at 8AM service into the sanctuary. We will continue to use our Diocesan endorsed health and safety plan which we have used for outside worship. Additionally, attendance will be guided by the Commonwealth recommended 25-person indoor gathering limit. You can see the entire weekend worship schedule here.
Last week, our HVAC contractor installed a Bipolar Ionization unit to the air systems for the church office, undercroft, and sanctuary. The technology utilizes specialized tubes that take oxygen molecules from the air and convert them into charged atoms that then cluster around microparticles, surrounding and deactivating harmful substances like airborne mold, bacteria, allergens, and viruses. They also attach to expelled breath droplets and dust particles that can transport viruses, enlarging them so they are more easily caught in filters. It is an active process that provides continuous disinfection. Our vestry felt that it is an added layer of protection during this time of concern about air born contagion.
I am grateful to be running this race, or this marathon, with you. Know that you are in my prayers as we continue to find new ways to be a church together in this strange time.
The Rev. Noah H. Evans, Rector