Upcoming at Faith This Week
| "Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey." Matthew 21:1-11
Thank you all for showing up Sunday for our Zoom prayer service! I can’t tell you what a balm it was for my heart to see your faces. If you didn’t make it Sunday, I hope you’ll consider joining us. You can come in your pajamas, you can sip coffee, you don’t even have to be “seen” if you don’t want to. It is just so good lay eyes on one another. Granted, meeting online feels peculiar and we still have some kinks to work out, but for now, it is a blessing and I am thankful.
I have no idea when we’ll get back to our old ideas of “normal”; we are in new territory and about as far from normal as we’re liable to be.
This abnormality is even more acute as we approach Holy Week.
We will not process together with our palms waving; we will not be washing one another’s feet or stripping the altar; we will not kneel as we pray the solemn collects in our darkened sanctuary. Nor, will we gather predawn to keep our vigil. But you know what? There has never been anything “normal” about the paschal mystery. There is nothing normal about a man dying, being entombed, and then resurrecting three days later. If it were normal, Jesus’s life and teachings would likely have faded away from human memory.
A New Way to Celebrate:
So, we will celebrate differently this year, because the Coronavirus does not get to sequester Easter. It may disrupt our lives right now and the ways we have traditionally marked the holy days will be altered, but none of that changes the fact that Jesus of Nazareth was executed by Rome and resurrected three days later. What better time for an unusual celebration of the unusual, abnormal, occurrences of 2000 years ago?
To that end, I am including some materials I hope you will peruse for celebrating at home. For Palm Sunday, consider adding some greenery to your door or processing through the house using the liturgy provided. We will again be doing Morning Prayer on Sunday with Matthew’s account of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and I encourage you to mark the celebration in a way that makes sense to you. We will not be reading the Passion on Sunday—I’m counting on you to read it in your own Good Friday commemoration.
As we enter into this holiest of weeks, we will be sending out resources for home observances. Take a look at Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s reflections regarding our theology of worship during Covid-19 included, and know you are each and every one in my prayers.
From our Presiding Bishop:
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Word to the Church: On Our Theology of Worship
A word to the Church regarding the theology of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church:
March 31, 2020
John Donne, Priest, 1631
Dear Friends in Christ Jesus,
We find ourselves in the strange position of fasting from physical gathering for worship of almighty God, not out of sloth or disobedience, but in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, for whom the primacy of love for God and neighbor is the way of life. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, refraining from physically gathering together to hear God’s holy word and receiving the sacrament of holy communion is itself an act of love for God and our neighbor.
As one of our spiritual ancestors once cried, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” (Psalm 137). How shall we sing the Lord’s song in this alien and strange land of COVID-19? How shall we conduct the public worship of Almighty God? How shall we provide pastoral ministrations to people who are sick, dying, and any in need? How shall we baptize? Ordain? How? I thank God for the bishops, priests, deacons, and the whole people of God who have been faithfully seeking ways to sing the Lord’s song in ways that truly worship God and simultaneously help to heal and protect human life.
It is my conviction that the Anglican way of following Jesus has deep within it a way and habit of worship and liturgy that is of significant help to us in this moment. It may well be that the breadth and depth of the Anglican way of common prayer can come to our aid now, when for the sake of others, we abstain from physical, public gathering to hear God’s Word and to receive the Sacrament.
With this in mind I convened a group to help me compose a theological reflection on how this Anglican way gives guidance in this moment. I hope this will be a framework, a theological context, or a signpost pointing in the direction of some of the wisdom of the Anglican way of common prayer. This is not in any sense a set of guidelines, directives, or mandates. I commend this work to you.
O God, our help in ages past,
God love you. God bless you.
Keep the faith,
The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry
On Our Theology of Worship: Questions in the Time of COVID-19
Challenges to Our Liturgical Life:
Across The Episcopal Church the current Pandemic has given rise to many questions about challenges to our liturgical life. Bishops are being asked, “May we do this or that? Will you permit this or that way of celebrating the Eucharist or delivering Holy Communion to the members of our congregations?” Some years ago in an essay titled “Is There a Christian Sexual Ethic?” Rowan Williams observed that in the then current debates about marriage rites for same sex couples, this “permissible/not permissible” way of conducting the conversation was a dead end. The real (and much more productive) question for a sacramental people, he said, was not simply whether a given practice was “right or wrong,” but rather “How much are we prepared for this or that liturgical action to mean?” How much are we prepared for it to signify? Sacraments effect by signifying.
Sacraments are actions that give new meaning to things. The current questions about the way we worship in a time of radical physical distancing invites the question of what we are prepared for a given sacramental encounter to mean. Sacraments are communal actions that depend on “stuff”: bread and wine, water and oil. They depend on gathering and giving thanks, on proclaiming and receiving the stories of salvation, on bathing in water, on eating and drinking together. These are physical and social realities that are not duplicatable in the virtual world. Gazing at a celebration of the Eucharist is one thing; participating in a physical gathering and sharing the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist is another. And, God, of course, can be present in both experiences.
And that is surely the most important thing to remember. From the time of Thomas Cranmer, mainstream Anglicanism has insisted that the Holy Eucharist is to be celebrated in community, with no fewer than two people. In contrast to some medieval practices, the Prayer Book tradition was deeply concerned with reestablishing the essential connection between the celebration of the Eucharist and the reception of Holy Communion. Over time, of course, many factors contributed to a general decline in the celebration of the Eucharist well into the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and Morning Prayer became the common service of worship on the Lord’s Day. And while it is good and right that the situation has changed dramatically, that the Holy Eucharist has again become the principal act of worship on Sunday across our church, few would suggest that the experience of Morning Prayer somehow limited God’s presence and love to generations of Anglican Christians. There are members of our church today who do not enjoy a regular sustained celebration of the Eucharist for a variety of reasons other than this Pandemic — they are no less members of Christ’s Body because of it.
Practices such as “drive by communion” present public health concerns and further distort the essential link between a communal celebration and the culmination of that celebration in the reception of the Eucharistic Bread and Wine. This is not to say that the presence of the Dying and Rising Christ cannot be received by any of these means. It is to say that from a human perspective, the full meaning of the Eucharist is not obviously signified by them. Our theology is generous in its assurance of Christ’s presence in all our times of need. In a rubric in the service for Ministration to the Sick (p. 457), The Book of Common Prayer clearly expresses the conviction that even if a person is prevented from physically receiving the Sacrament for reasons of extreme illness or disability, the desire for Christ’s presence alone is enough for all the benefits of the Sacrament to be received.
Richard Hooker described the corporate prayer of Christians as having a spiritual significance far greater than the sum of the individual prayers of the individual members of the body. Through corporate prayer, he said, Christians participate in communion with Christ himself, “joined … to that visible, mystical body which is his Church.” Hooker did not have in mind just the Eucharist, which might have taken place only quarterly or, at best, monthly in his day. He had very much in mind the assembly of faithful Christians gathered for the Daily Office.
While not exclusively the case, online worship may be better suited to ways of praying represented by the forms of the Daily Office than by the physical and material dimensions required by the Eucharist. And under our present circumstances, in making greater use of the Office there may be an opportunity to recover aspects of our tradition that point to the sacramentality of the scriptures, the efficacy of prayer itself, the holiness of the household as the “domestic church,” and the reassurance that the baptized are already and forever marked as Christ’s own. We are living limbs and members of the Body of Christ, wherever and however we gather. The questions being posed to Bishops around these matters are invitations to a deeper engagement with what we mean by the word “sacrament” and how much we are prepared for the Church itself — with or without our accustomed celebrations of the Eucharist — to signify about the presence of God with us.
Financial Strain & Resources
The bishop shared yesterday that the diocese will be offering assessment forgiveness to churches during the coronavirus crisis. There are three possibilities for what that might look like currently under consideration, ranging from a few months’ forgiveness, to a 10% flat rate assessment, but a decision has not yet been made. There are very many needs arising as a result of the epidemic; many people have lost their jobs and may be struggling financially. Please make sure to keep up with your pledges as you are able—we are fortunate in that we don’t have a lot of paid staff, but we still need to pay our bills as well as continue to help those who need assistance. Also, if you are able, you might consider donating your upcoming stimulus check to help those less fortunate.
The diocese has put together a list of community resources for people in need on its website https://ecww.org/community-resources-for-people-in-need/ Many of these are particularly for folks in the Seattle metropolitan area who have been hardest hit by the virus. However, there is information here for the greater region as well.
Palm Sunday at Home:
Here is a possibility for how to celebrate Palm Sunday at home:
Click here for the Palm Sunday liturgy
There are many ways you might celebrate the occasion: in lieu of palms, you might process with evergreens, or rosemary branches, or anything you have at hand. Include your children in the planning—what might they contribute? Use your imaginations, read the suggested scripture, and mark the occasion.
Liturgies for Home Observances for the Triduum will be forthcoming in a separate email.
Morning Prayer on Facebook:
I have enjoyed praying Morning Prayer on Facebook. I really believe there is a huge opportunity in this for us to remember our roots and reengage with the discipline of praying in our homes. Remember, it wasn’t until liturgical renewal and the issuance of the 1979 prayer book that Holy Eucharist became the principal service in our church. Until then, many churches prayed Morning Prayer on Sundays and had Holy Communion only occasionally. So, even though it might feel as if we’re “starving” for the sacraments of bread and wine, keep in mind there are two parts to every Sunday: the service of the Word and the service of the Table. I invite you to immerse yourselves, as the body of Christ, into The Word. We worship in Word and Sacrament; for now, we are fasting from the sacramental side, but make no mistake, we continue to worship.
This coming Sunday:
This coming Sunday, we will be using Zoom for our Morning Prayer service. If you have never used Zoom, it is incredibly easy. Just click here or on the invitation to the service below and follow the directions. If you don’t have a camera on your computer, you can still call in.
Topic: Faith Episcopal ZOOM Sunday prayers
Time: Sunday April 5 at 9:30
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 700 467 480
Dial by your location +1 253 215 8782 (if listening on phone and not on your computer or tablet)
Alternative phone numbers if needed:
1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
1 253 215 8782 US
1 301 715 8592 US
1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Additional Assistance: Click here to access a webpage on FaithPoulsbo.org for additional assistance. The webpage will also show previous sessions from Vicar Laura's Morning Prayer and worship services.
Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline, are all found in the Book of Common Prayer. The readings and ordo (a list of offices and feasts) for the Daily Office are found in the back of the BCP. Page 934 explains “how” to pray the Office and is a good place to begin. We are in Year 2 and Sunday we begin Holy Week. The readings for each day are found on page 957. Please note: on our livestream Sundays we will continue to use the lectionary we would be hearing if we were together in church. If you don’t have a Book of Common Prayer you may find it online here: https://www.bcponline.org/
Faith’s Book Club:
If you are interested, the book group is doing a virtual book study on The Grace of Les
Miserables. If you are interested in joining, please contact Gary & Laurie James.
Faith Community Groups:
Here are the household groups!! They are “loosely” arranged by where everyone lives—we’re a pretty spread-out bunch. Also included are phone numbers (for quick reference)—please let us know if your contact information has changed. The highlighted person is each group’s designated Bishop’s Committee member.
Steven Randolph: Home: 360-881-0827
Barb & Brad Bell:
Ralph Flewelling: 360-297-4622
Jean Hart: 360-638-6060 Cell: 360-881-0874
Raymond Benoit: 425-361-5314
Carol Deggendorfer: 360-297-2637
Linda Hagen: 253-630-0285 Cell: 253-486-8629
Linda Pratt: 360-265-5027 Cell: 360-297-3858
Gary James: 360-598-4750
Laurie James: 360-271-6096
Sarah & Scott Hewson: 360-931-3442
Fred & Carol Pomeranz: Fred: 253-549-5089 Carol: 253-549-5060
Rupert & Carlotta Kettle: 206-595-6769
Diane Foster: 360-697-3863 Cell: 360-509-1956
Jackson Foster: 360-697-3863
Ronnie Sue Leith: 360-344-2033
Betty Guffey: 360-344-8147 Cell: 970-390-8745
Monica Guffey: 360-344-8477 Cell: 509-520-2687
Ada & Roy Kornmeyer: 360-344-2974
Brenda Toth: 360-473-7213
Frank Toth: 360-473-7213
Dave & Nancy Edwards: Dave: 360-540-2639 Nancy: 360-540-1448
Dana & Aaron Steege-Jackson: 360-473-8379
Doreen & Pedro Valverde: 360-697-2140 Pedro: 206-683-0929 Doreen: 206-250-2265
Kat Godman: 206-779-3024
Deb Hurd: 360-394-1607
Neil: 360-394-1607 413-265-0284
Dorothy Timma: 206-790-1532
Ellen Green: 206-842-8621
Jim & Connie Aurand: 360-297-3352
Jim Cell: 360-710-5579
Louise & Bob Kernaghan: 360-297-3535
Kevin & Amanda Mace: 360-731-3658
George Daniels: 360-207-7873
Bob Hodges: 360-930-8918
Debby Holt: 513-344-0502
Virginia Ohrberg: 360-731-0495
Tom & Jo Roberts:
Paulette & Ross Waggoner: 360-633-9475
Kay Rawlings: 206-799-4061
Paula Womack & Clay Clayton:
Jeffrey & Jesse Batstone:
Ed & Laura Chesvick: 360-698-9213
Paul & Sarah Steinke: 425-244-0425
Bill & Elisabeth Demmon: Bill: 360-981-1900
Paul & Alyssa Quinlivan:
Lillian Asher: 360-337-2521
Cell: (360) 265-2996
Vicar Laura Murray: 360-434-3214
Mike Murray: 360-434-0014
Howard Bye-Torre: 206-310-0766
The directory is a moving target—it seems there are changes to it regularly. We are attaching the latest copy. Click here to download a copy.
It contains emails, addresses, and all the other information we have. Hopefully, between this phone list and the directory, you’ll be all set to call and write one another!