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.
Friday Compline & Contemplation and Wednesday Compline at 9pm: https://zoom.us/j/649764065?
A Holy Week 2020 Message from the Chaplain
Beloved Members of the ECY Community:
I write just after our very moving “virtual” Palm Sunday service, introducing us to a Holy Week none of us could have anticipated, when uncertainty has become the new normal. We’re told this pandemic may be the defining moment of your generation, as 9/11 was for the one that preceded you, crises that completely upend our sense of collective direction, and leave us feeling powerless, disoriented, and full of fear.
As each of us struggles to make meaning out of all this, let me share a few thoughts:
- Theologian N. T. Wright once said, “Crisis reveals character.” Student after student has told me about the isolation you feel during this time. I wonder whether this might be an invitation to reframe isolation as solitude. In darkness and solitude, God does God’s best work, yet we take so little time to discover the God who dwells right inside us, to whose presence we have only to consent. This presence is the engine of transformation, for co – defining with God how we wish this crisis to shape our character.
- I hear from you the pain of lost productivity in the face of the cognitive disorientation trauma brings, and the breakdown of busy routines. As our brilliant alum preacher, Lily Osler, preached on Sunday, “In times like this we feel we can never do enough, yet it’s the perfect time to remember that in God’s eyes we are always” I wonder how we can use this “unproductive” time? Seminarian Matt Roberts invited us this week to play Star Wars Dungeons and Dragons. Could God be inviting us into “burning” some “unproductive” time, so we discover something deeper, like hope and joy?
- Rowan Williams once said, “If you believe in resurrection, you must trust death”. With death literally all around us, can we recognize those habits, values and narratives dying within us, like the ego attachments to appearance, achievement and affluence, and begin making room for whatever gifts God is trying to replace them with? Conventional wisdom tells us the thing we fear most is change. I don’t believe that about your generation, since before you were born, change has been a constant. Perhaps what we fear most are the losses change can bring, like our dreams, our certainties, our friends, even human touch. Unless we take the time, the solitude, to actively reflect and grieve those losses, and begin replacing them with new gifts God has on offer, there will be no room in our hearts for hope, for joy, for the new life Jesus has promised, and demonstrated by living among us.
In Holy Week, we travel precisely the same road Jesus’ friends had to walk through his passion and death. And only when they walked it together, mining it for wisdom and mutual consolation, were they ready to receive the news of the resurrection. That, my beloveds, is my deepest hope for each of us as well.
Holy Week Blessings,