From the Rector
As Episcopalians we are a sacramental people. We recognize the two great sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist as well as five other sacramental rites: confirmation, ordination, holy matrimony, reconciliation of the penitent, and unction. The thing that all of these hold in common is that by definition they are outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace. We know that grace as God’s love for us and we practice that love through our sacramental rites and liturgy as a way of growing deeper in that love and spiritually transformed through that love.
Water becomes a powerful symbol not only of washing away our sins but also of what it means to be joined to a community through baptism. Bread and wine are transformed into the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist—a presence that can only be known and experienced in community. The wedding ring is worn as a reflection of Christ’s love for the world through the bonds of marriage. Anointing those who are sick or dying is a balm of healing—not simply physical healing but even more significantly, spiritual healing. The laying on of hands is a powerful reminder that Christ has entrusted his Church to us and through confirmation and ordination we continue to recognize the mature calling of Christ to the priesthood of all believers. The words of the penitent become the pledge of our life wrapped within the covenant God first offered Abraham and continues to offer to us—I will be your God and you will be my people. All of these outward and visible signs symbolize deeper truths that we have difficulty expressing but understand deeply through the mystery of Christ.
Though deeper truths are difficult to understand and express, they are grounded in the love God has for us and they are made known in his calling us to be in relationship with one another. Sacraments could easily be grounded in the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Mt 7:12; Lk 6:31) They can also be understood in the Great Commandment, “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mt 22:35-40; Mk 12:28-34; Lk 10:27) They are then expressed by whatever action we engineer out of love.
A lot of times, I don’t get the opportunity to express my love for humanity in such a sacramentally demonstrative manner. But I do now. Its not about my legal rights or political perspective—it’s about who I am fundamentally as a Christian. If concern for my rights drives my thinking or conversation—than that is a political or legal perspective and not a Christian one. Jesus had rights too—he was unjustly accused, subjected to an unfair trial, sentenced by a crooked judge, and put to death illegally. Yet, instead of complaining about his rights, he asked a question, “What is truth?” For Jesus, the sacramental truth was the outward and visible sign of the cross as his love for us. It seems to me, maintaining six feet distance, washing hands, wearing a mask are much easier crosses to bear and yet, true expressions of the sacramental life.
The sacramental life is more than celebrating the sacraments, it is practicing them in the world. When I sit down to table and break bread with another, I am practicing a sacramental life. When I take a shower each morning, I am reminded of my baptismal covenant and how I might live that out in the day to come. When I wear a mask, I do so not because it will help me (because it won’t) but as an outward and visible sign for the love Christ has given me for others.
Whatever I do as an expression of love for another becomes an expression of love for God, connecting into that deeper truth and greater mystery of the Divine. It is the outward and visible sign of love and it is more than understanding sacraments as rites. It is learning to live a sacramental life. Everything we do to demonstrate love becomes a part of the sacramental life. Going to church is not the key to being saved. Going to church is the way we learn to live as sacramental people and that is the true path of salvation.
Due to COVID-19, our worship hours will change.
Sunday service at 7:30am
We will stream on our website, YouTube and Facebook pages. The video will be available to watch any time after 7:30 AM through the links below:
The website stream is available HERE.
YouTube stream can be watched HERE.
The Facebook stream can be found HERE.
The service bulletin can be found HERE and you can print this for your convenience.
Stay tuned to the website and Facebook page for further updates as we work through this together.