A Message from the Vestry of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
“The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of God’s son, our savior, Jesus Christ.”
Greetings St. Mary’s Community,
As the global coronavirus pandemic unfolds, as we witness the suffering of people near and far, and as the stabilizing rhythms of our lives are interrupted, we find ourselves in the midst of much grief, uncertainty, and fear.
And yet, as followers of Christ, we have a unique responsibility and opportunity to manifest and bear witness to God’s grace in the world. We are discovering there is great opportunity to serve others and to be present with one another in new and unanticipated ways. We, the Vestry, are thinking of you and praying for you during this difficult time. Although we are not certain what the coming months will bring, we are certain of God’s presence with us now and always.
The Vestry met via video conference last week and discussed our current situation and what we can do to support our staff, our parish community, and the broader community around us. We are committed to continuing our practice of community and connection at St. Mary’s, of supporting each other, and serving God’s people around us.
Community and Connection – As Fr. David has outlined, we have introduced several opportunities for online worship and fellowship, including Noonday Prayer every Wednesday, Morning Prayer with virtual coffee hour every Sunday, and parish gatherings for bible study and conversation every Thursday. The youth group and children’s choirs also continue to meet virtually. Resources for families and children will be added to our website, including virtual children’s homilies from families of St. Mary’s. Additional information, including how to access these services and meetings, can be found on the St. Mary’s website, available here.
Support – The Vestry, along with a group of volunteers, is currently in the process of calling each member of the extended St. Mary’s community to check in with them. We encourage you to continue to reach out to each other, and to check in with those in our community who may need additional assistance or help and to let us know how we may facilitate you in that. We are exploring still more opportunities where we can, as St. Paul says in his letter to the Galatians, “bear one another’s burdens.” If you find yourself in need in any way, please reach out to one of us or a member of the clergy. We are in this together and no one of us is alone.
Service – The Vestry is also focusing on how St. Mary’s can continue to be a beacon of grace and hope in our broader community. The opportunity here is vast and our efforts will evolve over time. We are currently focused on our medical professionals. Over the next several weeks, St. Mary’s will be accepting donations through our website, which we will use to purchase meals from local restaurants for delivery to hospitals and other health care provider offices to feed medical personnel. This will support both local restaurants and those among us on the front lines of this pandemic. You can donate by clicking HERE. You can help San Francisco General Hospital: Donate PPE Equipment: Contact email@example.com. To donate food/snacks/other items, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For monitary donations, go to http://www.sfghf.org/support-us/donate/
We will be in touch in the coming weeks with additional ways to come together as a parish and to serve our broader community. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Although it pains us not to see you in the courtyard on Sunday, we take heart in the resilience and generosity of our parish community and we are filled with gratitude and hope as we strive, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to be instruments of Christ’s love and grace in these uncertain times.
John Adair Nancy Clothier
Will Long Rebecca Peacock
Laura Akel Stephen Gamboa
Matt Bartlett Cynthia Harper
Christian Cebrian Molly Irwin
Sheila Santangelo Arthur Perkins
The Vestry of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin