When I go into my daily meditation, I often want it to be over with quickly. I want to get back to my normal daily activities and chores. Thoughts and distractions knock me off from my intention to be fully present and still. Though my time of meditation is not perfect, I still find it very helpful. What if we think of the pandemic and the national uncertainty that we are going through right now as an opportunity for us to take a timeout and reflect and gain all the wisdom times of crisis like this would offer? Instead, our collective mind often wants to get back to the “normal time” when we can resume our lives as before. But what awaits us at the end of this crisis is not going to be the old normal; rather, it will be a new normal, a new reality. I’m reminded of the magi returning home a new way after having had the vision of baby Jesus in the manger. T. S. Elliot’s muses, “We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation, With an alien people clutching their gods. I should be glad of another death.”
It has been three months since I came to Gloria Dei. If it were a normal time, I would have met all of you by now. However, this is no normal time. We are going through an unprecedented and devastating time. Seminaries do not prepare would-be clergy for this sort of situation. We studied exilic and eschatological literature in the Bible as historical events and futuristic imaginations, but not as present possibilities and realities.
Nevertheless, they serve as guides for us to live in the present darkness with the hope of bright dawn in the future. Are we going to let this plague defeat us? No, not only will we not surrender to it, but we will overcome it because, as Bishop Barbara Harris said, “We are a people of resurrection living in a Good Friday world.” We are a hopeful people. We must operate from an attitude of abundance, not scarcity.
Here, at Gloria Dei, we have been coming together for Eucharistic worship Sunday after Sunday since the first day we were allowed to gather following the lockdown. Each time we meet, we comply with COVID protocols and the diocesan guidelines. Our gathering for worship reminds me of the Psalmist assertion, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff - they comfort me.” We are manifesting the attitude of abundance. Let us continue to gather for worship prayerfully and responsibly following the diocesan guidelines. Lately, as new cases are rising in Philadelphia and other counties, Bishop has alerted clergy the other day that there may be a pullback on the eases he had allowed recently.
Thanksgiving is only a few short weeks away. This year, as Americans gather around the table, some of us may be missing their loved ones due to COVID, human brutality to each other, wildfires, floods, and hurricanes. We might ask, “How can we celebrate Thanksgiving in the middle of a pandemic?’ I am reminded of the psalmist’s lament,” How can we sing happy songs in dire circumstance?” However, let us remember that we are a people of resurrection living in a Good Friday world. We are a hopeful people. We approach things from an attitude of abundance.
I thank God for Gloria Dei and each of you. I thank God for bringing us together in God’s ministry and mission. I thank God for the hope we have through Jesus Christ.
October 2020 Calendar
Sundays in November
Live worship in sanctuary at 10 AM with Covid-19 precautions. 25 people allowed in the sanctuary, overflow in Riverside Hall.
Tuesdays in November
Evensong on Zoom - 6:30 PM, followed by “coffee hour” (or whatever you like to drink!) Email Jaime at email@example.com a Zoom link.
The Green Committee is back with new members and new ideas. Join us at our next meeting on November 12th at 6:30 PM and help us decide on our next projects!Email Jaime at firstname.lastname@example.org a Zoom link.
Collect: Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Twenty Third Sunday after Pentecost November 8, 2020
Collect: O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost November 15, 2020
Collect: Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Last Sunday after Pentecost – Christ the King November 22, 2020
Collect: Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect: Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect: Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Peace be with you! This past week, as I gathered my prayer updates for our intercessors, I rejoiced when I realized that all of the updates were positive. Five of the people we had been praying for had been healed in one way or another: cancers in remission, chemotherapy side effects minimal, hearts and lungs healed enough to breathe easier, bodies strong enough to go home from the hospital. Thanks be to God for this good news!
I’ve said before that committing to a prayer practice is not easy, but it is essential. Prayer connects us with the pain (and joy) of others and, in turn, with our own pain and joy. Prayer draws us deeper into the Mystery of God’s healing power and closer in alignment with God’s heart. It helps us recognize our belovedness and the belovedness of ALL people.
Rejoice with me now in the recent healing of our brothers and sisters: Kabir, Raymond, Jerry B, Luca, Barb, Sally, and Amy. And join with me in saying the names of the others on our prayer list right now: The Byaese Family, Jill, Susan, Kate, Margie G, Margie K, Edward, and Shaun. We pray for the repose of the soul of Joyce. We also pray for all victims of violence and oppression, natural disasters, and COVID-19. May we be open to the Spirit’s call to action and God’s guidance on how to use our time, talent, and treasure to be good stewards of all that God gives us.
Peace and blessings,
Megan Bartlett, Prayer Ministry Coordinator
If you feel called to participate in this ministry, please contact me: email@example.com. If you have a prayer request, you can contact the church office (215-389-1513) or email me at the address above.
Historic Gloria Dei Presentation
A New Art With Us: Music in Colonial Philadelphia [Free Live Stream]
November 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
“Music is a new Art with us,” wrote Benjamin Franklin to a friend in Scotland in 1763, explaining that the American colonies were still young and had not yet produced a distinctive body of music. Franklin’s statement was especially true of his adopted hometown, Philadelphia. Founded by Quakers, who eschewed all forms of music, Philadelphia was slow to develop a public musical life. By the time of the American Revolution, however, the city had a lively music scene and was the center of arts and culture in America. Of particular interest will be discussion of two important musical events at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church soon after its completion in 1700.
Jack McCarthy is an archivist and historian who has held leadership positions at several local historical institutions and directed a number of major archives and public history projects. Jack specializes in three areas of Philadelphia history: music, business and industry, and Northeast Philadelphia. He regularly writes, lectures, and gives tours on these subjects. Jack serves as consulting archivist for the Philadelphia Orchestra and Mann Music Center and directed the 2018-2019 project Documenting & Interpreting the Philly Jazz Legacy, funded by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
This free lecture will be broadcast at 7:00 pm via GoToWebinar. At 7:45, Jack McCarthy will be present for a live Q&A. Attendees can submit their questions through the chat window.
If you would like to purchase a memorial card for $5, please call the church office at 215-389-1513.