"And We Begin Again. . ."
The ancient Benedictine mantra “And we begin again . . .” suggests that there are always new beginnings every day and throughout our Christian journey. This past Sunday marks, in a way, a new beginning as we begin again our worship services and our Parish Life together. Finally, our first opening worship service during this “Pandemic Pause” took place last Sunday. As planned and predicted, there were new changes and protocols, but we did it! The planning team of the Vestry, the Vestry volunteer “ambassadors”, the ushers, and you! those who participated in our Opening Service, all worked together to make this happen. And yes, we did have to work for it to make this worship opportunity come together for the good of St. Philip as a Faith (and faithful!) community.
A special thanks for all those Vestry members, Vestry volunteer “ambassadors” and Ushers who attended planning and orientation meetings and who provided all the efforts of setting us up and getting us ready for our Opening Service with all the guidelines and protocols in place. And also, a special thanks to those who were able and willing to attend. Without your support and attendance, our worship service together would not have happened and our “labor of love” efforts would have been for naught. We were “in this together” and we did it together! Thank you all for your dedication, commitment, willingness (and courage!) and cooperation during this challenging time.
We know that many of you were not able to attend due to health concerns, and rightly so, but we thank you for your prayers and support toward re-establishing our Parish Life together as we do the best we can under the current circumstances. During this Pandemic time, we realize that there are a number of things over which we have little or no control. Of course, many varied feelings arise from this situation, but we are called to a “higher ground” of peace, serenity, and unity, and servant-leadership in the midst of the chaos and circumstances of this life. We are called to be a “non-anxious presence” to a very anxious world as witnesses to our faith and the love of God.
I am reminded of “The Serenity Prayer” that has been a prayer of encouragement, hope, healing, and wisdom to many throughout the years. The Recovery Community has particularly embraced this powerful prayer as their prayer “mantra” but it has been an anchor to many in their different walks in life, including my own. I encourage you to consider the Serenity Prayer as an anchor prayer in your life, especially during this challenging time.
And let us continue to journey . . . together! Let us continue to journey together as faithful witnesses in the love and peace of God.
The Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things that I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.
May it be so for us this day!
Fr. Terry +