Pandemic Blog

A daily note to keep in touch

Sunday is not the same

29 March 2020

Cassie is chewing a squeeky toy to get my attention. Trust me, she is getting lots of attention. Hershey is plastered against my side on the couch. I have comfy clothes on. Definitely not what I am usually doing on a Sunday morning at 11:30.

Yes, I have emailed out my sermon for today but that just feels cold and incomplete. I miss seeing your faces looking up at me while I share God's word and my reflection upon it. I miss walking up the aisle before the service and catching up quickly with some of you. But most of all, I miss breaking bread and sharing the body and blood of Christ. I hunger for communion in all ways.

But we are doing what is right and good. We are staying home to help stop or at least slow the spread of the Covid 19 pandemic. We do not have anyone in our parish that has it as of yet, that I know of.  I dread the moment when I hear otherwise. I love each and every one of you and pray fervently that none of us get it. But reality is that one of us may. How will I react and how will I cope? I don't know and will not until it is reality. But I do know that God will help. 

Well, Cassie is back wanting to play. Stay well. Love, Rev Jenny

Hello!

30 March 2020

The house is quiet. Sheri is at work. (Please pray for her and all health care and essential service workers). The dogs are asleep. So are the cats. Jorja and Michael are quiet so my guess is they are watching TV.

I listen to the silence. It is never truly silent is it? The birds sing. The wind howls. Dogs (not Cassie for once) bark. 

But things are much quieter than they used to be. And in that quiet, I listen. I listen for that gentle voice of my loving God. It reminds me of the song my mother used to sing to get us to sleep, "I come to the Garden Alone". My mother was far from a good singer. We jock that we fell asleep quickly so we wouldn't have to listen to her. But the reality is, some of my favourite memories include her singing. Or telling stories.

God tells us some marvellous stories too. I actually found one yesterday I had never really heard before. It is 2 Kings 6. Elisha's prophets are growing to be  too numerous for their sleeping quarters. They go out and chop wood to build a bigger structure but one of the worker's axe head comes off and flies into the river. He is very distraught as he borrowed the axe. Elisha throws a stick into the river and the axe head floats so the worker can retrieve it.

Now I don't know about you, but I have never seen an axe head float. It would definitely be a miracle. 

So what are we to learn from this interesting tale? God cares. Even about the seemingly little things. God may not make an axe head float for us but God will help find our keys or a parking spot or peace in a time of stress.

God cares folks and so do I.

I am back. Sorry

2 April 2020

Hello again. Sorry I have not posted in a few days. I have been writing to you in my head but I guess that doesn't work. lol. 

It is nice to see the sun shining. It makes it somehow easier to be "on lockdown". Huh. That reminds me of my Mom. She loved flying because she loved going to airports and watching people. Once she had been through security, she would say she is "in lockdown". 

I hope and pray each of us can find something we can love about being in lockdown like my Mom did.  We can not do anything about having to stay home so we may as well enjoy it. 

So many times in scripture, people have to be where they do not want to be. Jonah did not want to be going to Ninevah, nor did he want to be on that boat, and I am very certain he did not want to be in the belly of the big fish. This pericope (tale from the Bible) shows us that we not always like doing what we have to do. However, for the good of others, we must.

Thank you for being in our belly of a big fish during this epidemic. Perhaps, listen in case God has a message for you before you get vomited on shore!



April 3rd 2020

03 April 2020

Good morning.

Today, I am working on Palm Sunday. It just seems so strange planning knowing we cannot meet in person. But, we are going to try something new. I know, new? Scary. But we can do it. 

I am going to post a liturgy for Palm and Passion Sunday. Then I am going to try going live and you can follow along. Really scary as I have never done anything like this. But different times call for different ways of coming together as Church.

To find it, go onto Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StJamesSt.Marys/live/ 

See you then!


Palm and Passion Liturgy

for 5 April 2020

Morning Prayer for Palm Sunday

April 5,2020

THE GATHERING OF THE COMMUNITY

As you prepare to join us online in worship, you might want to light a candle or place a piece of art or photograph where you are sitting, as a way of remembering this time and place are holy, and that God is indeed present.

For the Liturgy of the Palms, have a small branch, or couple of leaves, or a few long lengths of grass, or even a cross you have folded from paper

Note that wherever the text is in bold, we will all read.

Worship begins...

THE LITURGY OF THE PALMS

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

Dear friends in Christ, during Lent we have been preparing for the celebration of our Lord’s paschal mystery. On this day our Lord Jesus Christ entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph. The people welcomed him with palms and shouts of praise, but the path before him led to self-giving, suffering, and death. Today we greet him as our King, although we know his crown is thorns and his throne a cross. We follow him this week from the glory of the palms to the glory of the resurrection by way of the dark road of suffering and death. United with him in his suffering on the cross, may we share his resurrection and new life.

Let us pray.

Assist us mercifully with your help,

Lord God of our salvation,

that we may enter with joy

into the celebration of those mighty acts

whereby you give us life and immortality;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Gospel

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, 'The Lord needs them.' And he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, "Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on

the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?” The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee."

The gospel of Christ

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

(as this prayer is read, please hold your branch or cross)

It is right to praise you, almighty God, for the acts of love by which you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The Hebrews acclaimed Jesus as Messiah and King, with palm branches in their hands, crying, Hosanna in the highest. May we also, carrying these emblems, go forth to meet Christ and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives and reigns in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Psalm 118:1-2, 18-29

Give thanks to the Lord who is good;

The mercy of the Lord endures for ever.

Let Israel now proclaim,

”The mercy of the Lord endures for ever.”

The Lord has punished me sorely,

but did not hand me over to death.

Open for me the gates of righteousness;

I will enter them; I will offer thanks to the Lord.

”This is the gate of the Lord;

those who are righteous may enter.”

I will give thanks to the Lord who answered me

and has become my salvation.

The same stone which the builders rejected

has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the Lord’s doing,

and it is marvellous in our eyes.

On this day the Lord has acted;

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Hosannah, Lord, hosannah!

Lord, send us now success.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord;

we bless you from the house of the Lord.

God is the Lord and has shined upon us;

form a procession with branches up to the horns of the altar.

”You are my God, and I will thank you;

you are my God, and I will exalt you.”

Give thanks to the Lord who is good;

the mercy of the Lord endures for ever

Almighty God, whose Son was crucified yet entered into glory, may we, walking in the way of the cross, find it is for us the way of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

(as we move into Morning Prayer, simply lay your branch or cross down in front of you…we pause briefly.

MORNING PRAYER FOR PASSION SUNDAY

Responses

O Lord, open our lips

and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Let your ways be known upon earth,

your saving help among the nations.


Blessed are you, God of our salvation,

to you be praise and glory for ever.

Full of sorrows and acquainted with grief,

Christ was lifted up

so that he might draw the whole world to himself.

May we walk this day in the way of the cross

and always be ready to share its weight,

declaring your love for all the world.


Blessed be God: Source of all being, eternal Word and Holy Spirit.

Blessed be God for ever.


THE PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD

A reading from Isaiah

The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens-- wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward. I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. a It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty?


Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church

Thanks be to God


Psalm 31:9-16

9 Have mercy on me, O Lord, *

for I am in trouble;

my eye is consumed with sorrow, *

and also my throat and my belly.

10 For my life is wasted with grief, *

and my years with sighing;

my strength fails me because of affliction, *

and my bones are consumed.

11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies *

and even to my neighbours,

a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *

when they see me in the street they avoid me.

12 I am forgotten like a corpse, out of mind; *

I am as useless as a broken pot.

13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; *

fear is all around;

they put their heads together against me; *

they plot to take my life.

14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. *

I have said, “You are my God.”

15 My times are in your hand; *

rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.

16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *

and in your loving-kindness save me.”

Glory to God, Source of all being, eternal Word and Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever. Amen.


A reading from the letter to the Philippians

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father 

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church

Thanks be to God


The Responsory

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;

by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

We preach Christ crucified,

the power of God and the wisdom of God.

By your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

God forbid that we should glory,

save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;

by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.


The Gospel

The Lord be with you

And also with you

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew

Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ


27:11 Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus said, "You say so."

27:12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer.

27:13 Then Pilate said to him, "Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?"

27:14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

27:15 Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted.

27:16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas.

27:17 So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?"

27:18 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over.

27:19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, "Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him."

27:20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed.

27:21 The governor again said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?" And they said, "Barabbas."

27:22 Pilate said to them, "Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?" All of them said, "Let him be crucified!"

27:23 Then he asked, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Let him be crucified!"

27:24 So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves."

27:25 Then the people as a whole answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!"

27:26 So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

27:27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him.

27:28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,

27:29 and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"

27:30 They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.

27:31 After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

27:32 As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross.

27:33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull),

27:34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.

27:35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots;

27:36 then they sat down there and kept watch over him.

27:37 Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews."

27:38 Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.

27:39 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads

27:40 and saying, "You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross."

27:41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying,

27:42 "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him.

27:43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, 'I am God's Son.'"

27:44 The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

27:45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.

27:46 And about three o'clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

27:47 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, "This man is calling for Elijah."

27:48 At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink.

27:49 But the others said, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him."

27:50 Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last.

27:51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split.

27:52 The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.

27:53 After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many.

27:54 Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, "Truly this man was God's Son!"

The Gospel of Christ

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ


Silent Reflection


THE PRAYERS OF THE COMMUNITY

This week we remember in our prayers, in the worldwide Anglican cycle, we have been asked to pray for the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean ...and in the diocesan cycle, St. George’s Church, New Hamburg; All Saints’ Church, Waterloo

With faith and love and in union with Christ, let us offer our prayers before the throne of grace, saying, ‘God of the deep, hear our prayer.’

Have mercy on your people, for whom your Son laid down his life.

God of the deep, hear our prayer.

Bring healing and wholeness to people and nations, and have pity on those torn apart by division.

God of the deep, hear our prayer.

Strengthen all who are persecuted for your name’s sake, and deliver them from evil.

God of the deep, hear our prayer.

Look in mercy upon all who suffer, and hear those who cry out in pain and desolation.

God of the deep, hear our prayer.

Bring comfort to the dying, and gladden their hearts with the vision of your glory.

God of the deep, hear our prayer.

Give rest to the departed and bring them, with your saints, to glory everlasting.

God of the deep, hear our prayer.

Silence

Collect of the Day

Holy and immortal God, as we enter into this holy week turn our hearts to Jerusalem, so that, united with Christ and all the faithful, we may enter the city not made with hands, your promised realm of justice and peace, eternal from age to age. Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer

Standing at the foot of the cross and gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray as our Saviour taught us,

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name,

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.


THE SENDING FORTH OF THE COMMUNITY

From where we are to where you need us,

Jesus, now lead on.

From the security of what we know

To the adventure of what you will reveal,

Jesus, now lead on.

To refashion the fabric of this world

until it resembles the shape of your kingdom,

Jesus, now lead on.

Because good things have been prepared

for those who love God,

Jesus, now lead on.

And the blessing of God…

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Amen.

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