24 Mar Remain Calm – Connected – Church
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
22 Cumberland Street, Clear Spring, Maryland
Message from Father Steve
Monday, March 23, 2020
Yesterday, Sunday March 22nd, Bishop Sutton in his Livestreamed Sermon from the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Baltimore mentioned that during this COVID-19 crisis, we should follow “Three C’s”; Remain Calm; Remain Connected; and be the Church.
I want to address the second two “C’s”, Remain Connected; Be the Church.
Yesterday afternoon, I started checking up on the active parishioners of St. Andrew’s, and followed up with several more today. I encourage everyone to stay connected to each other in the ways that are safe; are currently allowed by our governments, and follow the guidelines coming from the Center for Disease Control.
Be the Church. As you know, I am Livestreaming the Daily Office of Morning Prayer Monday through Friday at 9:00 a.m. On Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m.; I Livestream Morning Prayer, and then do the Mass of Intention. The number of viewers who watch the Livestreaming services are growing, but it is most apparent, that our Livestreaming from St. Andrew’s is helping a broad range of people deal with the Coronavirus crisis. The shared prayers that the viewers send in not only help with their individual prayer requests, but the viewers connect with each other during the Livestreaming. I am looking at some “other avenues” beyond Livestreaming, to help us get through this time where Public Worship in the Diocese of Maryland is suspended until May 16, 2020. You will hear more from me about this in the next week.
Many are aware that our Micah Backpack Ministry at St. Andrew’s has been suspended by the Washington County Public Schools. This ministry provided almost 4,000 meals in 2019 to 20 students on a weekly basis from Clear Spring Elementary School on the weekends. The 20 students (Who we do not know, but are identified by the school guidance counselors.) went home on the weekends with 3 meals per student!
After consultation with our Sunday School Teachers; Amy; Lucinda, and Ashley; we are going to continue a Food Ministry to the needy in our area, and our desire is that the children will be a benefactor of this new outreach ministry.
We are going to begin a food outreach ministry called “Blessing Boxes”. This ministry is not something new, but will be new to us at St. Andrew’s.
We will fill up a plastic bin with food, and get the word out, that people in need may come by the Church to pick up free meal packages. Eventually, we will have a more permanent structure in front of the Church, similar to our Free Library, to hold the food. The plastic bin will sit on the covered breezeway between the Church, and parish hall. Our hope is that the parents of the students who were receiving the Micah Backpacks in the past, we hear about our “Blessing Box” ministry, and know that they are welcome to come to the Church and pick up food.
The “Blessing Box” Ministry will begin on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
To His Glory
The Rev’d. Steven L. McCarty – Priest
Vicar of St. Andrew’s