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March 20, 2020  •  www.stlukesbr.org
Standing firm! In case you missed it, here's the latest from Fr. Bryan regarding the church closure. 
On the Agenda
Dear Friends,
For the week ahead, our clergy and staff are working to offer at least three virtual services / reflections. For now, these will be pre-recorded, but as soon as we upgrade some tech in the sanctuary, we will livestream, too. Please set reminders and mark your calendars to "tune in." And thank you for your patience as we experiment and adapt to a new way of doing things! Our new calendar of events includes:

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: TONIGHT (Friday): Deacon Reese will guide the audience at home through a journey to the cross during this contemplative service. Video will be available on our website and Facebook page starting at 5 pm this evening. 

LITURGY OF THE WORD: Sunday, March 22: Since we can't actually physically gather for communion, our recorded service for this Sunday will be ante-communion, which is the eucharistic rite through the prayers of the people. The video will be available by 11 am on our website and Facebook page.  

GOSPEL REFLECTION & LITANY FOR HEALING: Wednesday, March 25: Tune in mid-week for a Gospel reading, brief sermon, and healing prayers. Video release time is TBD, but we will give you a heads up on Wednesday morning!

If you are not connected with us on social media yet, please consider doing so now! We'll be sharing brief livestreams, good news, photos from the good ole' days, inspirations, insights, favorite resources, and more. Find us on Facebook and Instagram, and increasingly on YouTube
 

Speaking of Facebook, we noticed this recommendation that our own Julie Owen shared yesterday. Many of you will enjoy this! 

"One of the things I will miss most about not worshipping together at St. Luke's is singing hymns together and hearing our musicians/choristers play and sing their anthems, responses, psalms, preludes, and postludes.

The Rev. Jennifer Deaton serves at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Jackson, MS, as Canon for Pastoral Care. [On a recent episode from the "Songs in the Desert" podcast], she shares reflections on Hymn #383 from the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 for a podcast called "Songs from the Desert." Besides being one of my treasured friends, Jennifer's heart and passion for music and her love for Jesus ring through her memories and exploration of this hymn, "Fairest Lord Jesus."

Jennifer's reflection is from March 18, 2020, but there are more to explore during this time of staying home. Click here to find the "Songs in the Desert" podcast, or search on Apple Podcasts."  (Thanks, Julie!) 
 




A
nnouncing a new Lenten "discipline" for those of you looking for an at-home assignment. Inspired by the "Picture This" class that our middle-schoolers have enjoyed each Sunday this year, we've put together a Lenten photo-a-day challenge that will help get our creative juices flowing as we reflect on the season of Lent. 

1) Consult the "Picture This for Lent" calendar above to find the word of the day, starting TODAY! There are words lined up through Easter Sunday.
2) Snap a photo that captures what that word means to you.
3) Share your photo on social media, being sure to tag us and use #stlukesathome. Photos (and questions) can also be emailed to anne@stlukesbr.org.
4) We'll all get to enjoy them online, and we'll share a few right here on Fridays.

FAQ: 
Do I have to do every single word?  Nope! Just participate when a word really resonates with you.
Is this photo challenge open to all ages?  OF COURSE! We want to see photos (or other artwork!) from young and old. 
Do I have to explain my photo in the caption?  Certainly not, but we really hope that you do! Be assured there are no "wrong answers" in this photo challenge.  

 

Something else to do at home... we are jumping on an idea that our friends at Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville recently announced: starting a "habit of grace." Join us in spirit for prayer at 6 pm. Set your alerts!

"We're joining Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in cultivating Habits of Grace. We are asking everyone to pause for a moment at 6 pm each night to say the Lord's Prayer and give thanks to all those who are on the forefront of this pandemic. Help us spread the joy of Christ and the knowledge that though we are apart, we are one body in Christ." 

 

Fr. Chris's sermon from last Sunday, entitled "Faith & Doubt During Uncertain Times" is available online for your reading or listening pleasure. 
 

Our Children's Formation leaders are staying in touch with church families by email and Facebook (as "St. Luke's Kids of the Kingdom"). This week, they shared a link to the Bible App for Kids which has videos and other resources for homebound education. Find it HERE.
 

Adult Formation leaders will continue to put together mini-lessons or reflections to be shared in our Wednesday "St. Luke's At Home" message. 
 

Our EYC youth group will "meet" for a chat this Sunday afternoon, courtesy of Zoom. Contact Julia Golding to participate: youthformationdirector@gmail.com.
 

Hang on to (and keep filling!) those MITE BOXES. We are still working on the details of this annual almsgiving tradition, given the circumstances, and we hope to announce a plan soon. Thank you! 
Giving to St. Luke's

A reminder from our Stewardship Committee...


Although we are not meeting in person, we are still a community in spirit! We are grateful for our church leaders during this uncertain time as we all make sure the church remains on a firm footing. Although Sunday offertory giving has come to a halt, we would encourage all of you to remember the alternative ways of giving to St. Luke's. It is quick and easy to give online (HERE), or checks may still be mailed to the church office.

We thank you in advance for your financial commitment to the church. Together we will continue to shepherd St. Luke's through this unprecedented crisis.
Caring for One Another
An update from the Pastoral Care ministry...

On Monday, Fr. Bryan, Fr. Chris and I reviewed the list of parishioners aged 60 and above, and learned from each other about those who seem particularly vulnerable during this time. Thanks to members of the Lay Eucharistic Visitors and Stephen Ministries, these parishioners are being called to see how they are doing, and if they have any needs. 

It has been interesting to see how people are doing...some have neighbors helping them, others are getting their groceries delivered, and still others have volunteered to help this effort!

But this won't be one time, that's all...calls will continue to be made in the weeks ahead. If a need arises, there are many who have volunteered to help in any way. 

What a blessing these ministers are! Gently they are keeping connections intact during a time when isolation is happening. I hope you will join me in thanking them for their ministry, and in remembering them with prayers of thanksgivings.

Finally, please let me know if you learn of anyone who needs support. It is truly humbling to see many working together to care for their brothers and sisters. 

May you each stay safe and healthy as we go through this time. 

Faithfully yours, 
Becky 
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