Friday, January 08 2021
Bishop Curry was recently asked what he would say to all the people that feel disconnected. Our Presiding Bishop replied, “I think we have got to figure out ways to be connected to each other. I mean, I have jokingly said, if you're high-tech, Zoom, if you're low-tech, text, if you're no-tech, call, send a note, stay in touch, socially distanced, following what the public health folk tell us, but stay in touch. Don't get disconnected. Don't get cut off. The psychologists tell us, cutoff is unhealthy. We actually need each other. So, if we can't touch each other physically, we can touch each other on the phone by writing, across the fence, but find a way to stay connected to other people, and to intentionally, if you're able, connect with other people. Sometimes, I experience love when I love myself, which is to say, when I step beyond Michael and reach out to somebody else, you know, like that song says, reach out and touch somebody's hand. When I do that, somehow, I begin to experience love myself in a very different way, when I give it away.
When Jesus is baptized by John in the Jordan River the heavens are torn apart, the spirit descends on him like a dove and a voice from heaven says to Jesus, “You are my Son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased.” At that moment of Mark’s Gospel, at the age of thirty, Jesus' ministry begins. Jesus' baptism is a moment of literal divine intervention into the realm of this world. Jesus will come to challenge the status quo and centers of political and economic power. Isaiah and other prophets promised justice for the poor and disenfranchised and Jesus came from heaven to proclaim God’s justice and to show us what the peace of God feels like. Jesus comes out of the river, still wet from the waters of baptism and goes to the margins of society where people feel disconnected. Jesus then teaches how to give your life for the sake of others.
St. John’s has always been known for the hospitality of our coffee hours and breakfasts. In the pandemic world that that we live in, it is impossible for St. John’s to gather for service and breakfast. We offer live services at eight and eleven on Sunday mornings, but they cannot compare to the hospitality that our congregation offered in a pre-Covid world. There is no doubt that many Americans feel a disconnect because of the Covid restrictions that have been placed on us, so that we may stay safe and stop the spread of this terrible pandemic.
We will offer all types of connections in the months ahead. We offer live Eucharistic services, zoom Morning Prayer, and streamed services in the comfort of your home. We have daily Morning Prayer, Education for Ministry, Bible study in the evening or day, Hilda’s Guild, Thrift Shop, Laundry Love, and C.A.R.E. I also ask every member to connect with a few of the parishioners that you have not seen in the last few weeks. We must all reach out our hands to the lonely, the elderly, the disenfranchised, and the discouraged. Zoom, text, or call as our Presiding Bishop suggests. The darkness of our time is depression, anxiety, and loneliness. The light of Christ could be a text, note, or call to someone that need a little love right now to endure this time of separation. Please connect with one another as much as possible in the months ahead. At the Baptism of our Lord, the connection with God is established and Jesus heads out into ministry to restore all people with God and one another. We are called to do likewise.
In Christ’s love,