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Message from Rev. Carmen

Posted by St. Alban's Episcopal Church on June 16, 2021 at 6:30 PM

I don’t know about you, but for me, the feeling of intense gratitude about being able to gather in person for worship once more has not yet worn off. I’ve always been a hugger and a crier, and I find myself on the verge of tears at some point in the service most Sundays these days…happy tears, of course!

 

- Hearing John play the opening chords of the Gloria, followed by the sweet sound of your voices joining in to sing, “Glory to God in the highest…”

 

- Getting to say “Good morning, St. Alban’s!” to real live humans in the same room as me

 

- Seeing you all at the altar rail again, hands outstretched, palms facing up in hopeful expectation of being nourished by the Body of Christ

 

These are just some of the moments in church that have choked me up with emotion over the past couple of months. I hope we never, ever take for granted what a gift and privilege it is to gather as a community to experience and proclaim God’s love in Word and Sacrament.

 

I am so grateful that we can continue to share our worship online as well. For me, knowing that some folks are worshiping with us each week via livestream is a powerful reminder of the “great cloud of witnesses” who are no longer with us in the flesh but who are always present in our liturgies. Those of us gathered in person may not be able to see everyone who joins us remotely, but we know they are with us.

 

If you have not yet felt ready to return to in person worship, I understand! And if church—in person or online—feels like a foreign practice right now, I understand that too. What we have been through this past year, individually and collectively, has reshuffled and reordered our lives in ways we are only beginning to understand. Take your time. Just focus on what God is up to in your life today, and be grateful for that. And if you want to talk about anything, please reach out. Your clergy are here for you. The staff and vestry are here for you. Your church is here for you.

 

Yours in Christ,

Carmen

 

P.S. A Prayer for Juneteenth, adapted from the Vivian Traylor Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians:

 

Almighty God, you rescued your people from slavery in Egypt, and throughout the ages you have never failed to hear the cries of the captives; We remember before you our sisters and brothers in Galveston, Texas who on June 19, 1865, received the glad tidings of their emancipation; Forgive us for the many grave sins that delayed that liberating word. God, you created us in your image. Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression. Help us, like those of generations before us, resist the evil of slavery and human bondage in any form and any manner of oppression. Help us to use our freedoms to bring justice among people and nations everywhere, to the glory of your Holy name through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

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