Notice for Sunday 3-22 and beyond

This is the first Bulletin Notice of what we plan to send out weekly so that we may stay in touch.

4 LENT The Sunday Service Outline

On this Sunday you may access worship services at St. Anna’s via FaceBook Live Streaming:

https://www.facebook.com/St-Annas-Episcopal-Church-107525112618650

 

Entrance Hymn:          Hymnal 690                Guide me o thou great Jehovah

First Reading:               1 Samuel 16:1-13

Psalm:                            Psalm23

Second Reading:         Ephesians 5:8-14

Gospel Hymn:             Hymnal 493                O for a thousand tongues to sing V. 1,3,6

Gospel:                          John 9:1-41

Communion Hymn:    Hymnal 433                We gather together  V. 1&3

Recessional Hymn:     LEVAS 221                This Little Light of Mine

Our hoped for future plans for worship and meditation aids:

We hope to film and upload an series of Evening Meditations based on Compline. In that case we will be using a YouTube Channel which we will send out when it is online and ready.

We plan to offer several different forms of worship that we don’t usually see or experience during this season of Physical Distancing:

*Choral Matins With Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament            Sunday March 29        10:30 a.m.   

Beyond that, if our churches must still remain closed, we will offer virtual church for Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter Sunday. I would not want to speculate beyond that. What is important is that we maintain a focal point for our Christian faith and experience.

Coffee Hours:  Will be offered using “Zoom” which is actually not too difficult to dial into with a computer and WiFi. I will be sending out an invitation for that in the near future.  The idea is to give us all a forum in which we can visit. It may be chaos but it will be good to see smiling faces.

*During the Middle Ages, as many know, there were plagues that spread throughout Europe essentially, Pandemics. So much was misunderstood about those plagues and the responses were horrifying. However, the Church, in so many cases remained present. Accounts of what we now call Saints ministering to the sick and terminally ill are abundant. Even then it became apparent that the distribution of Holy Communion might cause illness to spread. So, “Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament” became normal in some places. It was a full Eucharist but without distribution. Instead ornate holders were fashioned and today we call them Monstrance. These, in a ritual action, would hold the blessed sacrament so that the gathered, sometimes from afar, could be reminded of the body of Christ that remains among us. To that end one of our Sunday Worship Services will employ the best of Anglican Liturgy in a High Morning Prayer Service, Sung also called Matins. It will be followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament called “Benediction.” As this unfolds on our video feed you may wish to pray the following:

“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.”

This prayer is for what is called, “Ocular Communion” we are receiving the body of Christ via our believe and in the spirit. So, from all of this we have a present reminder of our connections to each other and to our God who is present even though we are distanced from each other. We still remain the body of Christ Jesus, His Church, His Family:

” I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 New International Version (NIV)

” The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[a] And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. ” Romans 8:15-17

Missions

 In general our staff is working from home. But we will be checking for phone messages on a regular basis. Anna’s Place NOLA is on hiatus until things open up again. The Food Pantry remains operative and even more vital now than before.

What we are doing:

  • Anna’s Place is staying in touch with the enrolled families.
  • Anna’s Place is hosting contest by age group for essays and art about their experiences.
  • The Food Pantry is still purchasing and collecting food items and using best practices to sort and to do home delivery of allocations to our families. Some of the Anna’s Place families are now requesting assistance. We anticipate the need for our modest pantry to grow.

STARTING NEXT WEEK. We will place a large receptacle in the doorway of our Parish House aka Maginnis House to receive canned goods to be used for our Food Pantry. Generally, canned meat products, canned vegetables, canned tuna. We will also receive boxed Mac&Cheese; and boxed pasta. NO OPENED ITEMS, NO EXPIRED ITEMS, and no weird stuff like Foi Gras. Drop and go. We will do the rest.

IN THE MEAN TIME WE ASK THAT YOU CONSIDER AN ADDITIONAL MONETARY DONATION AS WELL AS INSURING THAT YOUR PLEDGE OR TITHE IS RECEIVED. YOU CAN DO THIS ON LINE OR BY MAIL. IT IS CRITICAL FOR CONTINUED OPERATIONS. Here is the link:

https://stannanola.org/donate/

A brief reflection:

 As some may know, I sit on my porch a lot and ponder. Today is no different. It is warm and humid with a good breeze blowing. The dogs are meandering about. Vicki, my wife, and I are occupying our time. This morning I met via Zoom with members of the clergy that represent the Downtown Deanery. Each of us plans to offer some sort of prayer service, each of us intends to reach out to our respective memberships to check in and see how folks are doing each of us are, like you, trying to figure this out and are hopeful to an end of this.

As the days have drawn on I have found myself becoming anxious, concerned, in denial, and worried. I find such feelings are not in any particular pattern or order but they are there at any given moment. Some of the staff and I recently shared some of our thoughts. Inevitably, because we are who we are, we each stumbled upon our Katarina experience. It too was a disaster, at least for us, and it was pervasive, at least in a regional way. There are parallels and yet this experience is quite different. But I do believe that, at least for some, maybe a bit of PTSD is kicking in. It feels too familiar. In that familiarity my adrenaline kicks in. But there is not much outlet for the adrenaline. There is no gutting, no houses to be moved, no crowds to feed or minister to. It is simply my wife and I and three meandering dogs. So, here I sit and there you sit. Wondering: How Long? When will this stop? Am I at risk? How do I venture out and stay safe? Yes, I need to buy some goods but such is a time of anxiety. All of these things are what we are dealing with now.

Some advice, which we are all getting in one way or another, is to step outside. Keep the distance but step outside; go for a walk or bike ride; enjoy nature a bit. Call friends or even better write friends – it has been too long. While Facebook can be toxic it can also be a gathering place. Set aside those political conversations and enter into conversations that engage, lift up, and restore a sense of community. Please, if you must drink alcohol or use other substances, be very modest. Because when you return it will all still be there.

As a Pastor I have to reel myself in and set boundaries for myself which I am no good at. But, as a few folks have noted, I’M OLD, so I need to watch where I go and how I conduct myself. Honestly, that is very hard for me to do. But, I am giving it my best shot. We have all been raised to think of the power of ourselves, of our individuality, of our uniqueness, of our ability to overcome so much. Yet, here we are and while separated we are interdependent. We now long for one another. The good news is that our connections through faith can remain strong.

What will it be like to join in virtual church and to know that dozens if not hundreds of others are paying at the same time with the same intentionality. Community. The Church.

If you find yourself in a bad place spiritually or emotionally call me. If you have some small joy to share email me I want to share your joy with others.

” For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Paul’s Letter to the Romans

My phone:  (504) 473-0073

Email:  fr.bill@stannanola.org

or

Call 504-947-2121 and leave a message.

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