Beloved: by now, I’m sure, that you’re aware of the presence and worldwide spread, of the COVID-19 “Coronavirus”.
It’s been the primary topic of many discussions and of course, of a deep concern to many people around the globe.
Since the beginning of this crisis, the clergy has been asked many questions regarding “how we are to practice our faith”.
Should we stay at home? Should we shake hands at: “The Kiss of Peace?” Should we hold hands during the “Lord’s Prayer?” Should we receive the “Holy Eucharist on our tongues, in our hands, or at all?” Should we “come to Mass?”
These are all good questions and they are of deep concern to many of us, because this pandemic virus, is real and it has touched many of our lives in one way or another!
So, Brothers and Sisters, I urge you, to remain knowledgeable, of what our nation’s health care professionals are advising us of and also, what they are recommending us to do.
As your Pastor and a Bishop of the church, I like all the clergy have a responsibility to safely continue teaching and preaching, in the name, of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
To that end, and as many of you already know, the clergy at St. Barnabas, has made the very difficult decision, to suspend all extra events, generally conducted within our parish.
We have also chosen to suspend our “open masses” in favor of one “closed mass” recorded at 11:00 AM on Sunday mornings.
After that mass, the recording will be placed on our church Web site, at www.stbarnabascclv.com by around 2:00 PM, every Sunday, for all to view.
We need to be wise and cautious in our decisions! That being said, these measures have been taken for the protection of all our parishioners and they will continue, until this serious disease has been reduced to a safe level, or eradicated all-together.
But it’s also important to remember that we must not live in fear! We can’t be afraid of this virus, or the possibility that we, or someone we know, might become infected.
We as a Church and Believer’s in Christ’s Word, must
“Have No Fear”.
We need to remain careful and cautious, but not fearful!
Rather than living in fear, Let’s tackle this challenge in Faith!
According to the medical experts, the Coronavirus doesn’t appear to be ending all too soon. Before it’s done, chances are, that someone we know, might come in contact with it.
It’s making it’s way into our schools, medical centers and even our churches. It’s attacked our medical personnel,,, our senior citizens and even our children. Our nations economy and many others, have been impacted and many people have already been affected, by job loss.
It doesn’t discriminate!
I believe that we are truly a faith filled community and as such, we need to demonstrate a faith filled response. Instead of living in fear and panic, over reaction and self-centeredness, we should demonstrate, our Trust in Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by remaining rational, reasonable and confident, in the spirit of Christ’s Love and Trust.
Brothers and Sisters, let’s never forget who we are and to whom we belong. As a Church, we need to take reasonable and prudent preventative measures, in order to protect our health, however, we also need to commit ourselves to prayer, in order to protect ourselves from fear and disbelief.
So, I encourage you, to join with Bishop Bob, Father Jim Deacon May, Deacon Sparks and myself in asking God’s Holy Spirit to watch over us, to protect us, to comfort us and to give us a Spirit of Peace, so we will not be afraid!
May the Peace and Love of Jesus Christ be with you all,