Tonight, I begin the fourth and final year of my religious studies course Education for Ministry. I have surveyed the old and new testaments; church history and this year is theology. This promises to be my favorite year, but I know it will be challenging. This gets into the mechanics of faith, and I am ready for it.
The course is produced by The University of The South which is an Episcopal University in Sewanee, Tennessee. I have learned a lot studying with others and I am grateful for the experience.
It’s been a long time since I have worn an alb in service as a Lay Eucharistic Minister at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Today it felt great to be back in action helping my priest and deacon serve communion to all at church this morning.
Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in each of the four canonical Gospels. Palm Sunday marks the first day of Holy Week, the last week of the Christian solemn season of Lent that precedes the arrival of Eastertide.
To all celebrating may this be a time of Holy reflection and keeping the events of this week in your thoughts.
I miss serving on Sundays at Church as a Lay Eucharistic Minister. Due to COVID-19 my parish, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is meeting outdoors and taking precautions to keep our members safe. This means communion, which is served in two-parts, bread and wine that is the body and blood of Christ we are only serving the bread which is safer to serve. (I would normally serve the wine which comes from a chalice which is a common cup everyone drinks from by a very ancient tradition).
Much has changed in how we live our daily lives. Everything seems different and it’s challenging to all of us to adapt and adjust. For me my faith has helped out with that. Other folks are finding comfort in their own ways. My hope is for a future where we can return to the ordinary but the normal will be redefined.
Service on Sunday is important to me but keeping my family, friends and strangers safe and well is so much more important. God calls that being good to my neighbors and myself.
As a church-going type person, I have sat through many digital worship services in these days of COVID19. Currently, my parish is meeting outdoors in-person to keep people connected yet safe. YouTube and Zoom have been instrumental in keeping many churches going and offering their parishioners the Word and Sacraments.
This graphic is a humorous take on watching church online. I do like the no parking, coffee, and relaxing in my pajamas but I would never ever mute my priest. He’s pretty good at sermonizing and that sort of thing.
No matter how you practice your faith I hope you have found a way to stay connected and to receive blessings from your spiritual community.
My priest, Fr. Quinn Parman preaching the Eucharist on the fourth Sunday of Advent at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. This Advent season has indeed been very different but our parish has indeed adapted by meeting for worship outdoors and socially distanced. Peace of The Lord be with us all in the days ahead as we head toward Christmas day and a new year.
St Francis is the patron saint of animals so many churches offer animal blessing services, usually held on or around October 4th. At my church, St Peter’s Episcopal this morning we had morning prayers and a blessing of the animals rolled into one service. It is always fun to have our four-legged friends join us. All we had this morning was dogs and cats but, in the past, we have had farm animals, snakes, and spiders. All things great and small have been blessed at this service.
This Easter morning was a different one. Instead of gathering at church for worship it was watching via YouTube. Many churches have celebrated in a similar way. For me it was good to have a shared experience with other believers who are doing the same. For many this is a time of life defeating death. Thanks to technology this is possible and it seems to have more meaning in this time of pandemic. My priest and the staff at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, TN have done great work in this new normal we are going through.