Weekly Lifelines 10/04/2020

It’s another big weekend at St. Luke’s: For the first time online worship will include Eucharist, we’ve got another time for Q&A following the service, and our annual animal blessing is on Sunday afternoon. Details below.

First off, this Sunday we’re changing up our online worship to include (virtual) Eucharist. The important things are staying the same: We’re meeting on Zoom, where you can join by computer or by phone. The service will include music, readings, a sermon, and prayers. We’ll gather afterward for coffee hour. What’s different is the one big thing that we haven’t done online until now: we’ll celebrate Eucharist.

To be honest, up until a few weeks ago, I had a low opinion of virtual Eucharist. Watching a few people receive communion while most of us said a prayer at home seemed off. In fact, a select few receiving while most just watch seemed like the opposite of communion. But a few weeks ago, I presided over Eucharist for a colleague (Sam, our guest preacher a few weeks back) and I loved it. The difference? Nobody took communion, not even the priest. We all, together, said the prayer for spiritual communion, held a few moments of silence, and then I reverently cleared the table. That one small change transformed it back into something holy. We were again all participating in the same way, everyone was welcome and everyone was equal both in the action of the community and in the eyes of God.

That’s what we’re going to try on Sunday. I’ll consecrate the elements and we’ll all pray for spiritual communion, together. I hope you can join us!

Following Eucharist, we’ll stay on Zoom for our next installment of St. Luke’s Congregational Q&A. The vestry, wardens, and rector will be present to answer any questions you’d like to ask. Since pledge season is underway, we’d like to focus on that in particular, although we’ll do our best to answer any questions that come up. This isn’t a scripted thing, but an opportunity to engage in conversation about St. Luke’s as a whole community. Again: I hope you can join us!

Finally, the first Sunday in October is traditionally when we celebrate St. Francis of Assisi by blessing animals. Weather permitting, we’ll gather outside the front doors of the St. Luke’s (upstairs, along 22nd Street) for prayers and individual animal blessings. Bring your beloved animals for a blessing and a mask for yourself. If you’re planning to come, kindly RSVP to me so we’ve got a list for contract tracing, should it be necessary. We’ll keep six feet apart even as the love of God makes us one. I’ll say it a third time: I hope you can join us!

Blessings,
Justin

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