Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Easter Project

No public worship until after Easter
In a recent letter to our diocese, Bishop Haynes wrote:  In light of Bishop Curry's advice, the advice of health professionals monitoring the pandemic and the directions of government officials, public gatherings for worship continue to be suspended in the Diocese of Southern Virginia until further notice - a time frame which regrettably includes the liturgies for Holy Week and Easter . She concluded her letter this way:  
I do realize that none of this is news that you wanted to hear today. I did not want to deliver it. I do want to remind you, however, that in this time when social isolation might cause us to feel disconnected and separate, there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ (Romans 8:38-39). Not even the coronavirus! And if we all make our life in Christ, from whom we are joined, then we cannot be separated from one other either!

So what does this mean for us at St. Andrew’s?
It means that the clergy and staff are hard at work creating ways for us to walk through Holy Week and celebrate Easter together online, in print, and in spirit. Good Friday will still include the Stations of the Cross. On Easter we will set up the flower cross in front of the church for parishioners and neighbors to decorate while keeping the required social distance. We are inviting everyone to participate in “The Easter Project” (see below). We are working on details of all our upcoming services and will keep you posted. 

The St. Andrew’s Easter Project

This Easter, we will hear the story of Jesus’ resurrection as told in John’s gospel. Easter is the high holy day of Christianity, the day that gives everything else and all of our lives meaning. Most years we celebrate Easter together in worship, with glorious music, exquisite flowers, a (hopefully!) rousing sermon, and shared Eucharist. This year, our lived Easter experience will actually be much closer to that of Mary Magdalene, who was alone when she met the resurrected Jesus. So let’s take this opportunity to engage deeply with the Easter story from our new vantage point of social distancing. What insights do we gain about the meaning of Easter when we encounter it in a more personal, individual way?

What is the St. Andrew’s Easter Project?
The St. Andrew’s Easter Project will be a collection of videos filmed by parishioners in which they share reflections about John’s Easter story. It will be a way for us to hear from one another about what Jesus’ resurrection means in our lives right now.

Who can participate?
Anyone and everyone. Your video can be of just you yourself; or of your family all together sharing their reflections. You can be 5 years old or 95 years old. If you have a smartphone or laptop with filming capacity but don’t know how to make a video, we have folks who can talk you through the process. If you don’t have access to video technology, we can find someone to interview you by phone and record your reflections that way. We can work together to ensure that everyone who wants to participate is included.

How do I prepare to make my video?
  1. Read John 20:1-18. Read it again. And probably again.
  2. Think and pray about these questions: a. What part of the story resonates the most for you right now? Why? b. Where and how have you encountered the risen Lord?
  3. Plan what you want to say to answer those two questions. Plan for your video to be no more than 3-5 minutes long.
  4. Don’t make your video yet, as we still have some technology details to work out.
How will I submit my video?
Stay tuned for specific details coming soon.

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