Living in Virtual Reality and Other Updates on COVID-19:
Dear St. Julian's Family:
I hope this note/update reaches you as well as possible (adding under the circumstances!). Though Jonathan and I are surely keeping as busy as ever, our first priority remains to care for your wonderful souls that you so graciously entrust to our care. To that end, I will continue to say please, please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any particular need or want to chat or pray together over the phone. It is our greatest honor and joy to journey with you as a family of faith, and we welcome the chance to be with you, even over the phone or on-line, at any time. I have included our mobile numbers below for your use. As I have been saying, we will and can only get through this together and, as always, with God's gracious help.
We will continue to meet for worship Sundays virtually at our Facebook page for the time being at 11 AM. The Bishop has suggested that at this point, though the target is always moving, that this will be the case for likely the next 8 to 10 weeks, following all the guidelines provided by local and state authorities. I will add that the Facebook page is also being used to share announcements, resources, and to provide daily prayer Mon-Fri (7:30 PM: Mon, Wed, Fri and 9:30 AM: Tues and Thurs). This time of daily prayer is being provided by a variety of our leaders who are all adding their own twist, which is really fun. I am grateful to those leading prayer and invite us all to join them, adding our comments, well wishes, and prayers.
To this end, if you need help in accessing Facebook, please let me or Jonathanknow, and we will connect you with someone who can help you set up your own Facebook account (if you would like to do so). We will continue to add the Sunday service to our website where all you need to view it is access to the website. It will be posted by Sunday mid-afternoon each week. You can view the last two Sunday services now by clicking here.
We will be adding Children's Chapel to weekly worship this week. It will be posted to the Facebook page directly after the regular worship service, and I will remind you of that Sunday in the regular service.
We are also moving much of our programing on-line including among other things: the Women's Bible Study, our Wednesday Evening Lenten Program, and our Women's Ministry gatherings (that will meet weekly rather than monthly for now). See the announcements below for more information about each.
I sincerely hope that we can use this time, though physically a part, to continue, as our Vision Statement reads, to grow in relationship with one another and seek greater intimacy with Christ. I actually think the intentionality that is required to do so in this time (e.g. to get on-line or pick up the phone) might be a catalyst for even deeper connection. We have always been a community that values intentionality and responsibility for our own spiritual growth. I believe this has prepared us well for our current reality.
In Morning Prayer on Tuesday the 24th, Tony made the point that one of the reasons we are continuing to use Holy Communion as our primary Sunday service is to remind us that we will be together again around the table our family of faith shares, our altar, at St. Julian's. We hold the bread and cup up as your clergy as a foretaste and symbol that the day is coming when will share it physically again, where our virtual high fives will again become handshakes and warm embraces. Further it is to remind us that God is really present not just in the bread and wine in the Brandon's living room but in our hearts in whatever sacred space we find ourselves in. Sacred space is created not by architecture alone but a recognition of the love in the room that we are standing in...God's love and the love we share with one another, which IS God's own love.
I will end as I began, your clergy are here for you and are happy to make time to talk and pray with you. Our contact information is just below. This note comes to you and yours with all my love.
The Rev Miles Brandon
The Rev. Jonathan McManus-Dail