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The Trailblazer

Being the Body of Christ: News from St. Dunstan's- September 24, 2020

Posted 4:31 PM by
News from St. Dunstan's
September 24, 2020
From the Rector
Dear parishioners and friends of St. Dunstan’s:
At this time of deep division and pain in our national life, when every day seems to bring yet more occasions for sorrow, anger, and grief, I find myself turning again to these words from St. Paul:
Just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ…If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; 
if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it 
                                                                    (1 Corinthians 12:12, 26-27).
If one member suffers, all suffer together with it.
The suffering of our country, our community, and in many cases our own families these days is excruciating, and every of us is impacted by this collective dis-ease (albeit to differing degrees). As a whole we are a people in mourning. We mourn the incalculable losses of COVID-19. We mourn the ongoing ravages of systemic racism and flagrant injustice. We mourn the effects of the violence that results. We mourn the destruction caused by natural disaster. We mourn our own agency and ability to effect change. We mourn a sense of hope for the future. The catalog of grief goes on and on and on.
As this recent article from the Religion News Service suggests, six months into the pandemic we are likely in the “disillusionment phase” of our response to this disaster, a time marked by increased incidents of depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.  Many of us may be fighting a very real (and altogether understandable) temptation to hunker down into our own little burrows right now. At times it all just feels like too much, and the impulse may be to withdraw for the sake of self-preservation.
But we must not lose heart. As Christians, we worship Immanuel, “God with us”: Jesus promises to be present with us just as much in our moments of disillusionment as in our moments of joy…perhaps even more so. What’s more, as members of the Body of Christ, we are blessed to be part of something far bigger than ourselves. We need not bear our pain alone or in isolation, even now. We belong to one another, and nothing – not this pandemic, not racial strife, not divisive political rhetoric – can take that sacred gift away from us. For this we give our thanks and praise.
Holding our common identity before us, I am writing today to ask that you please consider joining your sisters and brothers in Christ here at St. Dunstan’s (either in person or online) for Holy Eucharist this Sunday, September 27. While every celebration of Communion is powerful and transformative in its own right, this service, in particular, will be particularly meaningful. As we lift our hearts and voices together in prayer, whether gathered on the church grounds or watching from home, we will reaffirm our unity and ask God to empower us as instruments of healing and grace.
More specific information about this Sunday’s service follows, below. The weather should be good, the music most definitely will be uplifting, and the Holy Spirit will, unquestionably, refresh and fortify our souls.
Come and see!
God bless,
This Sunday at St. Dunstan's:
´╗┐Outdoor Eucharist!
Join us
this Sunday, September 27,
at 10:00 a.m.
for an in-person celebration of Holy Eucharist!
Weather-permitting, we will gather once again in socially-distanced "pods" on the church grounds for Sunday worship. The service also will be live-streamed on Facebook Live for those who are not able to be present physically.
Jazz music will be courtesy of The Joseph Arkfeld Trio;
our Senior Seminarian Intern, Dr. Robin Reed, will preach.
Please note that at this service we will distribute the consecrated bread (host) only; wine will not be consumed. Congregants will be invited by pods to pick up their hosts in individual cups to take back to their seats. Masks will be worn at all times, except momentarily when consuming the Sacrament. Those who choose not to receive Communion may opt instead to come forward for a distanced blessing. We also will offer a Prayer of Spiritual Communion for those worshipping via live-stream. 
All those attending this service in person must register and sign the Regathering Covenant and Liability Waiver (electronically) before coming to worship. 
Please visit THIS LINK to sign the Covenant and Waiver and reserve your spot. 
Registration will close at 12 noon TOMORROW
(Friday, September 25).
For more information about in-person worship at St. Dunstan's, 
please contact the Rector, the Rev. Patty Alexander.
For Your Prayers
For healing, strength, and protection:´╗┐
Donna Almon
Joel and Ann Anders
Nancy Bancroft
Richard and Florence Banks
Sydney Betz
Phil Carroll
Bill Darnell
Kenny Farnsworth
Warren Green
Anja Hein
Barbara Hocker
The Rev. Deacon Fergie Horvath
Jason and Amy Krill and their family
Isabel Krum
The Peel Family
Pam Plaisance
Curt Shively
Allison Spaulding
Lina Verville
Pat von Rautenkranz
Don Wasseman
All those impacted by COVID-19
Those affected by Hurricane Beta and the West Coast wildfires
The Vivanco Family (missionaries in Quito, Ecuador)
This Week at St. Dunstan's
Tomorrow Afternoon: Friday Fellowship
Join your St. Dunstan's friends for an hour or so of connection and conversation this Friday, September 25, at 5 p.m. There is no agenda beyond being together (electronically) and enjoying one another's company. We hope you'll stop by!
Please note: This week Joanne Comstock will host the gathering, and you should use the following Zoom credentials to log on:
Zoom Link for September 25 Friday Fellowship (Meeting ID: 299 890 8549; Passcode: LH).
Thank you, Joanne!
Sunday Morning: Worship Outdoors at St. Dunstan's!
This Sunday, September 27, at 10 a.m., we will gather outdoors for our first service of Holy Eucharist since the pandemic forced the closure of our buildings six months ago. Please read the information above carefully, and please be sure to register by TOMORROW AT NOON to attend the service.
St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church | Website
The Rev. Patricia Phaneuf Alexander, Rector

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