Epiphany Episcopal Church Diocese of Washington 3111 ...
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Epiphany Episcopal Church Diocese of Washington
3111 Ritchie Road Forestville, MD 20747
PENTECOST SUNDAY (Year B) May 23rd 2021
The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of Washington The Rev. Prince Decker, Rector
9:30 A.M. (RITE II) To Participate call at 9:25am: Free Call Number
1-301-715-8592, then enter 3282285640 # listen for prompt and go straight to 136951 # Or Join Zoom Meeting - Check your email message for the live link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3282285640?pwd=bjZhMUhtclNtRkJJMFREZXI5dng1QT09
Meeting ID: 328 228 5640 Password: 7TdyBW Please do not use both link and phone number because it will be very static or noisy. Mute link line or phone when not speaking if you want to sing or if you are in a very busy area.
Phone (301) 735-7717 Fax (301) 735-9051 Website: epiphanyforestville.org
Email: [email protected]
A warm welcome to all guests and visitors worshiping with us this Morning
IN PERSON AND ZOOM SERVICE THIS SUNDAY
Order of Service Organ Prelude
Opening Hymn AAHH-312 “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart”
1 Spirit of God, descend upon my heart; Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move; Stoop to my weakness, mighty as thou art, And make me love Thee as I ought to love.
2 I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies, No sudden rending of the veil of clay, No angel visitant, no opening skies; But take the dimness of my soul away.
3 Teach me to feel that Thou are always nigh; Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear,
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh; Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.
4 Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love, One holy passion filling all my frame; The kindling of the heav’n descended Dove; My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.
Celebrant: In the name of † the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Celebrant: Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you People And also with you.
Celebrant: Alleluia. Christ is risen. People: The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Collect for Purity Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Gloria L243 Glory, Glory, hallelujah, Lord we praise your Holy name, Glory, Glory hallelujah, Lord we praise your Holy name.
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, Glory, Glory, hallelujah,
Lord we praise your Holy name, Glory, Glory hallelujah, Lord we praise your Holy name.
You take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; You are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.
Glory, Glory, hallelujah, Lord we praise your Holy name, Glory, Glory hallelujah, Lord we praise your Holy name. Amen.
Celebrant: The Lord be with you People: And also with you Celebrant: Let us pray
Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire; strengthen your children with the gift of faith, revive your Church with the breath of love, and renew the face of the earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Reading from the Acts of The Apostles
When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it
The Collects Seventh Sunday of
The First Reading Acts 2:1- 21
filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs-- in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine." But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: `In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' " Reader: The Word of the Lord People: Thanks be to God
The Psalm for this Sunday is Psalm 104. We will read it responsively by half verse breaking at the asterisk
25 O LORD, how manifold are your works! * in wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
26 Yonder is the great and wide sea with its living things too many to number, * creatures both small and great.
27 There move the ships, and there is that Leviathan, * which you have made for the sport of it.
The Psalm Psalms
28 All of them look to you * to give them their food in due season.
29 You give it to them; they gather it; * you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.
30 You hide your face, and they are terrified; * you take away their breath, and they die and return to their dust.
31 You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; * and so you renew the face of the earth.
32 May the glory of the LORD endure for ever; * may the LORD rejoice in all his works.
33 He looks at the earth and it trembles; * he touches the mountains and they smoke.
34 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; * I will praise my God while I have my being.
35 May these words of mine please him; * I will rejoice in the LORD.
37 Bless the LORD, O my soul. * Hallelujah!
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,* As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
A Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
The Epistle Romans 8:22-27
The Word of the Lord Thanks be to God
Sequence Hymn H 229 “Spirit Of Mercy, Truth, and Love” 1-2
1 Spirit of mercy, truth, and love, O shed thine influence from above, And still from age to age convey The wonders of this sacred day.
2 In every clime, by every tongue, Be God's surpassing glory sung; Let all the listening earth be taught The acts our great Redeemer wrought.
✠ [Sign forehead, lips and breast] The Holy Gospel of our Lord According to John
Glory to you, Lord Christ Jesus said to his disciples, “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.” “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. Reader: The Gospel of the Lord. People: Praise to you, Lord Christ
Hymn H 229 “Spirit of Mercy, Truth, and Love” v3 3 Unfailing comfort, heavenly guide,
The Gospel John 15:26-27;
Still o'er thy holy church preside; Still let us all thy blessings prove, Spirit of mercy, truth, and love.
Sermon Pastor Prince
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Prayers of the People
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle in them the fire of your love
Loving God, We ask for the gift of your Holy Spirit to help us pray as we ought. In the Anglican Communion we pray Thy Kingdom Come; Anglican Communion Sunday; The Anglican Church of Melanesia. In the Diocese, let us pray for St. Augustine’s Church, DC. We also pray for the Clergy: Justin, Archbishop of
Canterbury, Michael, our Presiding Bishop, Mariann, our Bishop, Chilton Knudsen our Assisting Bishop and Prince, our Rector. Lord, Your Spirit is with us Hear our prayer
We pray for Joseph, our President, Kamala our Vice President; the Congress and Senate of the United States; the Supreme Court; Larry, our Governor; Angela, our County Executive. We pray for all heads of states and their government; that they may be lead to wise decisions and right actions for the good of their citizens. We pray for good relationship between nations. Lord, Your Spirit is with us Hear our prayer We ask for the energy and vision of your Spirit for those who are fighting in the battle against injustice and oppression. Lord Jesus Christ, You created human beings with utter goodness and desire that we show your love to each other, heed now the cries of your people throughout the world, and save us from racial divisions and social and economic disparity. We pray also for those exhausted by the struggle with poverty and hunger; countries and families who have lost more people than the coronavirus; children and women who are mostly deprived and die from poverty and treatable diseases. Lord, Your Spirit is with us Hear our prayer We ask for the peace and joy of your Spirit for those living in the shadow of war and violence; for those eaten up by guilt and anxiety and whose Christian life has become hard and dry. We pray for Christians in area of persecution - Dear God our Father, your Son Jesus forgave his enemies while he was suffering shame and death: Strengthen those who suffer for the sake of conscience; when they are accused, save them from speaking in hate; when they are rejected, save them from bitterness; when they are imprisoned, save them from despair; and to us your servants, give grace to respect their witness and to discern the truth, that our society may be cleansed and strengthened. We pray for first responders, and health care givers, for men and women in uniform. We pray for our military personnel: Kenneth Hubbard, Jay Lemon, Omega Marks, Emmanuel Staples-Bloom & Festina Hume-Dawson. We commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be. Lord, Your Spirit is with us Hear our prayer
We ask for the hope and comfort of your Spirit for those whose lives are overshadowed by illness or pain; for those whose lives are darkened by sorrow or bereavement. Visit
and comfort the sick and suffering. Heal and strengthen weak bodies, calm and correct confused minds. We pray for those we know with particular needs including: Larry Sweeney; Azante Williams (sister of D’Marco Murray); Jean Gill (congregation member); Consuello Chapman (congregation member); Charlotte Gibbs (congregation member); Brenda Murray (congregation member); Florence Burt (congregation member); Stephanie Sharp (family of Thomasine & Ricky Lyles) and Akil Jackson (friend of Thomasine & Ricky Lyles); Lillian Smith (congregation member); Nancy Murrell (congregation member); Lauvinia Alston (Congregation member) Yvette and Lisa (Friends of Epiphany. Support them all with your great love and mercy. (Silence) Lord, Your Spirit is with us Hear our prayer We ask for the love and courage of your Spirit for those reaching out to comfort the distressed; we commend to your mercy all who have died, that your will for them may be fulfilled; and we pray that we may share with all your saints in your eternal kingdom. We remember Bernadette, Patrick Sr. and Patrick Jr., Charlize; (the Richards, Cole, Gilliam families) and all who have lost loved ones; we pray for, we pray for those reaching out to others with the Good News of Christ. Lord, Your Spirit is with us Hear our prayer
Confession of Sin Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor. Silence may be kept. Minister and People Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen. The Priest, stands and says Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen. The Peace
Celebrant: The peace of the Lord be always with you. People: And also with you.
Announcements/Birthday/Wedding Anniversary Prayers
Please make your pledge and offerings now: E-Giving https://giving.ncsservices.org/App/Giving/ncs-2031
Presentation of the Offerings and Doxology (sung)
Hymn: H-380 “The Doxology”
1. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise him, all creatures here below; Praise him above, ye heav'nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Hymn—L120 “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” (Please Set Your Bread and Wine)
There's a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place, And I know that it's the Spirit of the Lord; There are sweet expressions on each face, And I know they feel the presence of the Lord. Refrain: Sweet Holy Spirit, Sweet heavenly Dove, Stay right here with us, filling us with Your love. And for these blessings we lift our hearts in praise; Without a doubt we'll know that we have been revived, When we shall leave this place. There are blessings you cannot receive Till you know Him in His fullness and believe; You're the one to profit when you say, "I am going to walk with Jesus all the way." Refrain: If you say He saved you from your sin, Now you're weak, you're bound and cannot enter in, You can make it right if you will yield, You'll enjoy the Holy Spirit that we feel. Refrain:
The Holy Communion THE GREAT THANKSGIVING: EUCHARISTIC PRAYER B In this prayer, the lines in italics are spoken by the People. The Celebrant faces them and says
The Lord is here His Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give thanks and praise
It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy, always and everywhere to give you thanks, holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, through Jesus Christ, your only Son our Lord. This day we give you thanks because in fulfilment of your promise you pour out your Spirit upon us, filling us with your gifts, leading us into all truth, and uniting peoples of many tongues in the confession of one faith.
Your Spirit gives us grace to call you Father, to proclaim your gospel to all nations and to serve you as a royal priesthood. Therefore we join our voices with angels and archangels, and with all those in whom the Spirit dwells, to proclaim the glory of your name, for ever praising you and singing:
Celebrant and People Sanctus and Benedictus (standing)
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. ✠ Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
The people stand or kneel. Then the Celebrant continues
Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness; grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit, and according to your holy will, these gifts of bread and wine may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread and gave you thanks; he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me. ✠
In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks; he gave it to them, saying: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. ✠
Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Celebrant and People
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. The Celebrant continues Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:Celebrant and People
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross, his perfect sacrifice made once for the sins of the whole world; rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, and looking for his coming in glory, we celebrate this memorial of our redemption. As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving we bring before you this bread and this cup and we thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you.
Send the Holy Spirit on your people and gather into one in your kingdom all who share this one bread and one cup, so that we, in the company of The Blessed Virgin Mary, The Apostles, The Martyrs and all the saints, may praise and glorify you for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord;
By whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever. AMEN.
And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,
People and Celebrant
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Breaking of the Bread Fraction Anthem
Celebrant: Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. People: Therefore let us keep the feast.
The Celebrant says the following Invitation
The Gifts of God for the People of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.
Lord, I am not worthy that thou should come under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.
Hymn H-516 “Come Down, O Love Divine”
1 Come down, O Love divine, Seek thou this soul of mine, And visit it with thine own ardor glowing; O Comforter, draw near, Within my heart appear, And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.
2 O let it freely burn, Till earthly passions turn To dust and ashes in its heat consuming; And let thy glorious light Shine ever on my sight, And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.
3 And so the yearning strong, With which the soul will long, Shall far outpass the power of human telling; For none can guess its grace, Till Love create a place Wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.
After Communion, the Celebrant says Let us pray.
Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire; strengthen your children with the gift of faith, revive your Church with the breath of love, and renew the face of the earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Blessing The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, ✠ [Cross yourself] the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen.
Closing Hymn: “When The Spirit Of The Lord Is Within My Heart”
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, I'll **sing as David sang. When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, I'll sing as David sang. I'll sing, I'll sing, I'll sing as David sang. I'll sing, I'll sing, I'll sing as David sang.
**Additional verses: praise/praised, pray/prayed, jump/jumped, dance/danced.
The Priest, dismisses them with these words Celebrant: Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit. People: Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.
PARISH ANNOUNCEMENTS Pentecost Sunday
!!!!!!!!! PLEASE SILENCE YOUR CELL PHONE.
Bible Study: Bible Study will take place on Wednesday at 7:30pm. Zoom or zoom call # 1-301-715-8592, then enter 3282285640# listen for prompt and go straight to
Meeting ID: 328 228 5640 Password: 7TdyBW For Wednesday Bible Study read through previous Sunday readings. The zoom link will be sent with the Bible Study outline.
Thank You from Junior Warden: #1 - Thanks and Appreciation to the Buildings & Grounds Committee in partnership with the Men of Epiphany to those who participated in the May 1 Growing Green with Pride Litter Pick-Up Day. Thirteen volunteers cleaned areas including the church Grounds, Ritchie Rd and Marlboro Pike extending to Donnell Dr. at the mall. A video is posted on the Stewardship page of the website.
#2 - Thanks and Appreciation to the Buildings & Grounds Committee members for rolling up their sleeves to paint and make repairs at Unit 1 of the Rectory to get it ready for a new tenant. Multiple weekends were devoted to this effort and family members also volunteered. Photos will be posted on the website soon.
Father’s Day: Sunday, June 20th is Father’s Day. A panel of men will discuss the role of Fathers in the 21st Century world. Please send discussion questions to the Rector or to Stewart Thomas or the Senior Warden.
Mid-Year Parish Meeting: The Mid-Year Parish Meeting will take place on Sunday, July 11th, 2021 with one Zoom and in Person service at 9:30am.
Food Bank: The committee is still collecting non-perishable food items or cash contribution to continue the food pantry ministry that has now taken off. If you wish to drop food items please call Alethea Long-Green/Cheryl Maxwell/Wendy DalMolin and someone will be present at the Parish Hall to receive food items. Please note that the Pantry Ministry is an ongoing project and will need support through 2021. Non-Epiphany members can participate in this project. Information about this project is at the Parish webpage. Contributions can be made either by E-giving or by check - mailed to Epiphany Episcopal Church, 3125 Ritchie Road, Forestville, MD 20747 with Food Pantry or Memorial in the memo column. Thanks.
Parish Vacancies: We have identified an individual to fill the position of Parish Support Staff and the Job Description for the Property Superintendent has been re-posted. Both positions are on Part Time base of 20hours a week. If you or someone in your network are interested in applying for either position, please forward resume and a letter of interest to Rev. Prince Decker, [email protected], 301-379-8951.
2021 Calendar and Pledge Envelopes: Please inform Pastor Prince if you would like to stop at the office to pick up your calendar, copy of Forward Day-by-Day devotionals and pledge envelopes.
Social Time: Please stay connected after the service if you want to catch up and have some fun time.
May Birthdays and Anniversaries
Mr. Edward Alston 5/9 Ms. Elizabeth Alston 5/19 NJ Carridice Jr. 5/15 Mrs. Rhonda Fox 5/18 Mrs. Carolyn Gurley 5/25 Ms. Xavia Hawkins 5/10 Mrs. Faith Louers 5/22 Mr. Hazel Montel 5/11 Mr. Zacharai Montel 5/20 Ms. Lynette Smith 5/08 Mr. Stewart Thomas 5/30 Ms. Avis watts 5/11
Anniversaries Cecil & Cynthia Griffith
Mr. Jada Allbrighton 6/14 Mr. Lloyd Cummings 6/13 Mr. Remo DalMolin 6/10 ........Ms. Kadi Decker 6/26 Ms. Mila Decker 6/07 Mrs. Josephine Gordon 6/13 Mr. Jacob Staples-Williams 6/8 Mrs. Sonia Staples-Williams 6/17 Mr. Emmanuel Staples-Boom 6/21 Ms. Clarel Wilkins-Jones 6/24
Anniversaries Mr. and Mrs. Thomasine & Ricardo Lyles Mr. and Mrs. Carolyn & George Gurley
Serving Today Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 16th, 2021 First Reading/Psalm Ms. Wilma Marks & Mr. S’Lemmuel Ezkwerre The Epistle Ms. Erline Vaughan Prayers of the People Ms. June Wood
[EDOW - Parish Clergy] Parish Regathering Updated Guidelines
Dear Friends in Ministry,
As we approach the Day of Pentecost, I give thanks for your leadership and the ways in which the Holy Spirit is blowing through our congregations, guiding all of us as we adapt in creative, new ways to the reality in which we find ourselves. Thank you for your faithfulness and courage in persevering throughout this past year.
to Parish, Parish, regionaldeans, Diocesan, Standing, Wardens, Church
At long last, we can all give thanks that COVID-19 cases continue to decline, and in response, local authorities are lifting restrictions. Mayor Bowser, for example, has recently announced that capacity limits on places of worship in the District will be lifted as of May 21, and I am sure other jurisdictions will soon do the same, if they haven’t already. Suddenly, it feels like reopening is happening faster than we anticipated.
At the start of the pandemic, I needed to place restrictions on our ability to worship and gather together, and I greatly appreciate your faithfulness in abiding by those guidelines. Now, as the pace of reopening picks up, I feel it is important to release you from that expectation.
Going forward, I trust you to monitor the guidance from civic authorities and adjust your practices accordingly. Where civic authorities do not provide guidance related to our life of faith -- serving food and drinks at coffee hour comes to mind -- I trust your best judgment as to what is right for your community and the health and well-being of your people.
Let me be more specific in some areas:
WORSHIP Parishes no longer need to submit a plan for regathering, though we are happy to talk through plans with you. Please email Canon Andrew Walter with your questions. Parishioners no longer need to sign the Covenant for Regathering prior to attending worship, unless you wish to ask that of them.
There is one restriction that remains in place for now in our sacramental practice. Until we have more information, please refrain from using the common cup and common loaf of bread in the sharing of Communion. Communion wafers for the bread is best for the time being, as is Communion in one kind or offering wine through individual cups or some other way you feel is safe. When we learn more from health officials, we will advise you further.
MUSIC/SINGING We have all missed singing, and recent CDC guidelines tell us that singing indoors by fully vaccinated people wearing masks is a safe activity. Therefore, singing is once again permitted by choirs and congregations, as you feel comfortable. This is an opportunity to encourage choir members and parishioners to receive the vaccine before returning, as the more people who are vaccinated, the safer all of us are in church. It is also within your authority, or that of your music minister, to insist that all choir members be vaccinated. I recommend that you do so, but leave it to your discretion.
COFFEE HOUR/ FOOD AND DRINKS In addition to singing, we have missed gathering after church for informal conversation and social gatherings. Coffee hour and other activities with food and drinks may resume; I simply encourage you to think carefully about how food and drinks are served, avoiding potlucks and sheet cakes, where many people touch the same food and utensils. The safest alternatives are individually served items.
Please continue using your best judgement when it comes to making in-person pastoral care visits. You are the best person to decide when a visit can be safely made in-person and when a visit is best by telephone or Zoom. Trained Lay Eucharistic Ministers may resume making visits, bringing much comfort to those who need it.
Undoubtedly, this letter will not cover every nuance or circumstance of your ministry, but as I stated earlier, I trust you to use your best judgment to follow civic guidelines and do what is best for your people. As civic guidelines continue to relax, please feel empowered to regather as you feel is right.
Again, thank you for your careful, courageous ministry through this long and challenging time. You are an inspiration to me and to many.
May we continue to experience greater freedom and health for all people.