Plan Your Visit
Let's face it.
We all want to be in our self-assigned seats participating in the Eucharist with our St. John's family rather than watching it on our computers or smart TVs. Worshiping alone and online doesn't fill our souls, but it can.
I recently read an article
that named the problem: we don't know how to watch anything in a holy way. Some of us stretch out on the bed to watch a movie. Some of us sit on the sofa multi-tasking: we knit, groom the dog, or my favorite: hit pause and run to the kitchen to stir the sauce or take the chicken out of the oven. Contrast that with a normal Sunday morning: we make worship very special by maybe dressing a little differently, gathering with other people at a specific time and focusing on our participation in the liturgy. In fact, we don't watch worship at all; we do worship.
So what can we do?
Gathering is not an option right now but keep in mind that we are gathering, one by one, to accompany Pastor Suzanne and Deacon David as they proclaim God's word and lead us in prayer. That's just the beginning: prepare yourself by replacing the pajamas and bed hair with clean clothes and your Sunday hairdo. If you're bald, you can skip the hairdo. That's us ready to worship, but what else can we do?
Print out the lessons beforehand and read them with curiosity.
Create a home sanctuary around your computer screen or smart TV. It can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. Spread a cloth or towel and light a candle or two. Add an icon or cross. Place a Bible or the Book of Common Prayer within reach. Add some flowers if you have them. Photos come to mind because Jack and I are sorting a lifetime's worth of them to give to the next generation. Why not create your own congregation with pictures of family and friends? The last touch is to silence your phone and other devices. You're in church now and you're ready to
Settle down a few minutes before 10:00 and start the service on time, knowing that for this short time we are gathered together as the family of St. John's. Join your body to your mind and heart: stand for the Gospel and respond to the various exhortations as always. Lean in and really listen to the sermon. Continue changing posture as much and stand for the final blessing as you are able.
Have your own coffee hour with your family or call one of your usual pew mates. Exchange news and then talk about the sermon. What did Mother Suzanne say that really got your attention? Did she hit on a spiritual sore spot that you need to address? What did she say that made you see something differently? Is there something about yourself that needs changing or perhaps reinforcing?
Try some or all of these suggestions to make your online Eucharist experience a true gathering in Christ.
I'll leave you with the words of Edwina Gately:
Give your pain,
your sense of failure and loss,
in trust to God….
Embrace the reality of your life
God is there.
Peace be with you.
St. John's Episcopal Church is a warm, welcoming faith community of about 100 households who strive
to share God's love with each other and the larger community through a variety of programs.
We have two services each week:
Contemplative Holy Eucharist
Choral Holy Eucharist
There is a children's area within the church where families
can share every service with young children and infants.
Our facility is wheelchair-accessible and service animals are welcome during the services.
Welcome to St. John's
Newcomers - please be sure to pick up a welcome bag on the back pew today while you are here. It includes the yearly calendar, information about St. John's and some goodies for YOU - (yes, chocolate and prayers!)
There are St John's Welcome Cards in each pew, please take a moment to let us know about any prayer requests, updates on contact information. The top half is for you to keep as a bookmark and the bottom part can be detached and placed in the collection plate.