24 Jul Letter to Congregation – July 15, 2020
July 15, 2020
To: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Clear Spring – Congregation
Fr.: The Rev. Steven L. McCarty – Priest
“I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the World!” John 16:33
To my Church Family;
In this verse from the Gospel of John, Jesus did not “Promise Peace”; but He offered it. He said, “you may have peace.” People may follow Jesus yet deny themselves this Peace. We gain the Peace Jesus offered by finding it in Him. Not losing our faith in him. Jesus said, “that in Me you may have peace.” We won’t find real peace anywhere else other than in Jesus. Keep Jesus in Your Heart.
None of us would ever expect that we would be living in a time that our Churches have been forced to close because of a virus, but this virus, COVID19, has put the World in a “Tight Grip”. I know that some see the reactions to this pandemic as “political”, and others believe it is all a “Big Hoax”. However you may describe it, the fact remains that the circumstances of this virus, and our response to it, has altered the way we live, and also treat others.
I do not like wearing a mask, but I also believe in those who have more education than me on this matter, that social distancing; wearing a mask in confined spaces; washing hands; does prevent the spread of this virus.
At St. Andrew’s we went into the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Red Phase, Sunday March 15, 2020 and on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020, we were granted permission to move into the Diocesan Orange Phase (In Person attendance with many restrictions.)
We have not seen some folks return to St. Andrew’s, since the Red Phase went into effect. When our Orange Phase began on May 31st., we did have 35 people in attendance. I realize that the decision to refrain from attending is a personal decision based on your concerns for safety, and maybe for some, not being able to meet the guidelines for In-Person Worship. We do miss you! However, whatever your decision is based on, I have several Requests: Do not push the Lord Jesus Christ Out of Your Heart. Please keep your Church Family in Your Prayers. Maintain your Faith Over Fear!
Semper in Ministerio Suo’