Pastoral Letter, March 13, 2020
Dear brothers and sisters of Christ Our Hope; Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We pray God’s comfort and peace over you and your household during this time of uncertainty. As your rector, clergy and lay leaders, we have listened carefully to all the information, requirements, and recommendations of our national, state and local governments. After much prayer and consideration, we are making the decision to cancel Sunday worship for the next two weeks starting March 15, 2020. We will evaluate further cancellations on a continual basis as information comes available. We do hope and pray that by doing our part in suspending service for a time we will help protect the vulnerable in the community. However, this does not mean that our worship together as a community and as a family in Christ will come to a pause. Although apart in body, we will be united through the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of prayer.
We have many wonderful tools at our disposal to do this. First, Fr. John and Camila will be recording a livestream Morning Prayer service via our church Facebook page on Sunday morning at 10 AM. Access the page via the link below on Sunday to watch and pray along through the service. If you do not have a Book of Common Prayer, you can download it from the ACNA website. Also, our bishop has uploaded a video of Evening and Morning Prayer each weekend of Lent with the Sunday lectionary texts being read; this will allow you in your homes to pray along with our bishop on either Saturday evening or Sunday morning as well. In the meantime, Street Angels, Jail Ministry and Bible Study will all also be on hold. Evening Prayer on Tuesday will be available at the church for those who would like to attend, but we do urge everyone to follow the advice of the CDC by staying home if anyone in your house is sick, wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and keep a distance of six feet from others if you come to Evening Prayer at the church.
Another important part of our worship and community is tithing. We would encourage you to prayerfully consider continued giving to the church during this time via on-line banking, or by mailing a check. Our mailing address is PO Box 2847, Olympia, WA 98507. Please also do not hesitate to reach out to our clergy by phone or email if you need prayer, counsel, or simply would like to talk. We are here for you. Archbishop Foley has urged all Anglicans to pray for those who are infected by the coronavirus, or have lost loved ones to it, as a Lenten discipline.
Let us join together and lift up all our worries and anxieties to the great Comforter and put our trust in Him above all else. Remember the words Moses said to the children of Israel long ago “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged”.
Fr. John Allen Deacon Jeramy Jensen Senior Warden Jim Di Giovanna on behalf of the vestry
Links Christ our Hope Facebook Page: ACNA Book of Common Prayer download: https://www.facebook.com/cohacolympia/ http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/
Morning and Evening Prayer with Bishop Kevin and Stefanie: https://www.cascadiadiocese.org/sermons-services