Dear People of St. Catherine’s Church,
I’ve been wondering how our life will be different once the Covid-19 virus has spent itself, or we develop herd immunity, or a vaccine is developed and we return to some kind of normal life. Remember before 9/11 when we would get on the airplanes with minimal security checks? Everything changed, and now the “new” way seems normal.
I believe that this “lockdown” or “shutdown” or “sheltering in place” or “social distancing” goes against the grain of our identity and culture in America. We are a land of freedom; we gather together without fear – to watch sports events, to go to the Straz for a Broadway show, at the corner bar, here at church for Eucharist and around breakfast tables. From our very beginning it has been our freedom of movement and association that have shaped our national personality.
We could assemble to worship. We could assemble to protest things we didn’t like. We could march for civil rights. We could gather for pro-choice and pro-life rallies. We resisted limits on our right to assemble, to gather, to be together. Immigrants from more authoritarian countries have always marveled at this freedom. And we feel stifled now. Even those of us who accept the limits on our gatherings, chafe at the restrictions.
So what will happen when we are told we can come out of our homes, go back to school, to work, get a haircut, go to church? Will we have been changed by our temporary hibernation?
A few possibilities. We have learned a lot about using technologies to connect with one another when we can’t be together physically. Why would we not continue using those technologies when the epidemic is over? If we have been contacting each other more by telephone and other media, why would we not continue that when the epidemic is over?
Even as we return to worshiping together, meeting once again in person, having Church School classes, vestry meetings, breakfast around the tables, we have learned that our community can be together in all circumstances. We may be more careful with each other. No doubt we will continue to do things to keep us safe. We may address larger problems in society and the economy that were uncovered by the epidemic.
As April turns to May and the Great Fifty Days of Easter unfolds in beauty and splendor, I want you to know how blessed I have been during this time of sequestering and anxiety. Your continuing faith and commitment have kept me going. And soon we will gather again, changed perhaps by our experience, to praise God and give thanks for his grace.
Yours in Christ,
Allen W. Farabee, Interim Rector
Sunday 8:00 AM
Sunday 9:00 AM
HOLY EUCHARIST WITH MUSIC
Sunday 10:00 AM
Sunday 10:00 AM
CONTEMPLATIVE EVENING PRAYER
Second Thursday of the month at 7:00 PM