Our Response to COVID-19
Come, Holy Spirit; kindle the fire of your love.
Transform all that is fearful into boldness of heart. Inspire your servants with wonder and awe at the mystery of your presence. Confirm your friends in compassion and forgiveness. Whisper discernment in the midst of confusion. Be wisdom in times of trouble; reverence in the face of diversity; and patience with the unfolding of life. And forever anoint your messengers with joy. Amen.
Join us for Noon Prayer and lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays! We’ll pray and then share a meal together. Questions? Email Rebecca.
Tuesday Prayer + Lunch: https://zoom.us/j/999131909
Thursday Prayer + Lunch: https://zoom.us/j/562085530
Want to chat with the Chaplain? Schedule a meeting with Rev. Paul here.
We’ll be praying Compline Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with extended time available on Friday for contemplation and community prayer in a calm online space.
Questions? Email Matt.
Monday Compline: https://zoom.us/j/551301038
Wednesday Compline: https://zoom.us/j/513007105
Friday Compline: https://zoom.us/j/635347784
Friday Contemplation Corner (9-9:45 pm EST): https://zoom.us/j/166924230
A Letter from the Chaplain:
Beloved Members of the ECY Community:
As I announced at our final Eucharist before spring break, “Whatever your plans, wherever you travel—as a beloved community led by Jesus, you carry us with you—our support, our prayers, and our love—until you return home to us again.”
At that time, none of us anticipated the extraordinary impact that the COVID–19 pandemic would have on countries around the world, or the ways in which it would disrupt the lives of members of the Body of Christ globally and locally. As human beings and as Christians, each of us navigates the daily tensions between our powerful emotions and our faith that God accompanies us as we step forward into the unfolding and largely unknowable future. On that journey, Jesus assures us of two things: first, that we have God as our constant source of strength and hope; and, second, that we have one another to remind us of God’s presence when we, in our humanity, forget it.
Many of you have told me that you feel disoriented and in limbo—we all do. How will online classes work? What about graduation? I remind you that God works best in the dark places of our lives. And, especially as we continue to travel together through this season of Lent, I encourage you to use this uncertain time as an opportunity to focus on God’s presence and provision in our lives, and to offer gratitude for the abundance of blessings that God showers upon us. Rather than dwell inordinately on our own anxieties, let us, instead, use our prayers and actions to benefit those in greater need than we are.
Your ECY clergy, staff, seminarians, and student leaders have been keeping in close touch as recent events have unfolded, and will continue to do so. We will be staying connected with you, too, and will continue to offer you spiritual care through the end of the semester.
While we expect to make further announcements in the coming week, here’s what you need to know now:
The ECY offices are, for the time being, closed. However, as your chaplain I am available to you. If you would like to connect, please call me (203-856-6399), schedule an appointment, or reply to this email. I am more than happy to speak with you via FaceTime, Zoom, or the like.
Rebecca, our Program Director, is also available if you would like to talk. You can contact her via email (email@example.com) to set up a time.
Worship and Programming:
In times like these, continuing to worship together as a community is essential for our spiritual well-being. We are, therefore, in the process of determining how best to continue providing you with opportunities to join us for Noonday Prayer, Compline, and Sunday worship. Rest assured that we will be share our plans with you before our next scheduled service, on March 22.
We are also exploring how to support everyone planning to be baptized, confirmed, received into The Episcopal Church, or to reaffirm their faith. If you are enrolled in our confirmation class, expect to hear from us with more information in the coming week.
Facebook and Instagram:
There has never been a better time for you to stay connected with your ECY community through social media. I encourage you to post—and to post frequently—on Facebook and Instagram so we can know that you are well, where you are, and what you are up to.
ECY’s Facebook and Instagram pages will continue to be updated over the coming weeks and months, and will remain an excellent way for you to stay informed about our ministry activities. If you don’t follow us already, now would be an optimal time to do so.
Finally, if you have been “too busy to pray” during these times, I encourage you to follow the guidance of one of my favorite books, Too Busy Not to Pray. Remember that the most intimate of prayers might not need lots of words, or even words at all, but might consist simply of breathing and “practicing the presence of God.” Words can also help, though. Here is one of my favorite prayers for difficult times, found on page 832 of our Book of Common Prayer:
O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray you, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.