Calvary’s Response to Coronavirus
March 27th, 2020
This situation is rapidly unfolding and Calvary’s response is subject to change in real time and subject to protocol of CDC and the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
We’re starting our third week since the Coronavirus outbreak began to fold into a pandemic. I will say, I deeply miss what is at the heart of our life as Christians– coming together week by week for corporate worship. It’s something that connects us one to another and shapes our life of prayer.
There are two things I’d like for us to be thinking about as a community this week:
- How we can pray while apart.
- How to stay connected to each other in life-giving ways.
First, Prayer. On Wednesday morning, I woke up with my mind a mess of chaos. Between the constant hum of “Breaking News,” the needs of my children, and the needs of the church (all co-existing in one space at home!), my heart and mind have been racing to rest in a new rhythm. Racing to rest is solidly oxymoronic.
It’s no wonder my prayer life has been messy at best. I was reminded before I got out of bed of two prayer practices I’ve learned through the years that keep me grounded.
One is from author Anne Lamott. She urges our prayers can be as simple simply saying, “Help!” or “Thanks,” or “Wow.” I like adding, “I’m Sorry” to those simple prayers.
In my teenage years, a youth leader taught me a simple way to structure my prayers. I go back to it in times like these. Just remember A.C.T.S.
Adoration- adoring God in a time like this? Yes, finding ways to give praise to a God that is beyond all things and in all things is good during a time like this.
Confession- With more time at home, and time moving from place to place converted to time “in place,” examining our consciences is a good exercise.
Thanksgiving – And for what do we give thanks. Imagine other times and places in the face of pandemic. That alone should give you cause for thanksgiving to God today.
Supplication – Ask God to help. For whom do you pray? I suggest being specific. And you’ll have time to take note– how exactly is God answering your prayers? What is God’s answer?
The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer defines prayer like this:
“Prayer is responding to God, in thought or deed, with or without words.”
I am seeing a lot of prayer in active deeds, without words, already happening among faithful people.
Prayer, by this definition, saves lives. Your deed may be sitting at home. It might be quietly staying calm and practicing social distancing in a grocery store or your essential workplace. It may be organizing, making phone calls, or preparing to-go meals for hungry people.
Keep up the prayers.
Next, how do we stay connected?
I think in a time like this, the danger is to be overly-connected in ways that don’t give life. I suggest making a rhythm of connection. Turn off and on the TV or your phone at specific times each day.
Since we can’t be at church together, I highly recommend scheduling online worship into your week. See below for instructions on how to worship virtually. (If you can’t connect in that way, you can at least make a sacred space in your home and open your prayer books. Pray the Daily Office and know you are not alone.)
Get involved in the Calvary Connection Circle initiative. You will be hearing from a member of the church this week about ways you can connect weekly with others at Calvary. I believe this simple, weekly connection will serve to help us “be the church” to one another even though we are apart.
Let us pray.
Let us remain connected one to another.
Blessings and Peace,
The Reverend Allison English