It has been a month since we came to Gloria Dei. We're beginning to get acquainted with our new location and surroundings. I'm someone who always dreamed of living in a city, at least for a short time, but never had that opportunity until now; this is a welcome change. I am sure the novelty and the charm may wear off. However, right now, we are enjoying our new environment. Living in the rectory next to the oldest continuously worshipping church in the United States is an awesome experience.
In my sermon last Sunday, I identified Gloria Dei as the Hidden Treasure, which a collector would sell all that has to acquire it, or as the Fine Pearl, which a jeweler would let go all that he has to possess it. We are the inheritors of this legacy that not only witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly of our history but also served as the moral compass as our nation formed and evolved over the last three centuries into what it is today. The weight of this inheritance is now on us. Do we value and cherish this beautiful legacy? Are the message and mission of our church as relevant today as they were when the Swedish settlers first founded it? How are we a moral compass to the society at large at a time when our country is buffeted by a pandemic, and our people are politically polarized in subduing it? What keeps our legacy continues to be a hidden treasure, or a fine pearl depends on how we respond to the challenges we face today as a society.
I enjoyed meeting some of you in person at our worship services. I look forward to meeting the others in the coming weeks as we open our worship services up to twenty-five, beginning on Sunday, August 2. As per the Office of the Diocese, we are in Phase II and continue to be in Phase II at least until the end of August. Let us pray that the situation improves soon so that we all can gather for in-person worship services. We will be offering Evening Prayers every Tuesday, August 4, at 6 PM on Zoom. If you are interested in getting a link to this service, please e-mail Jaime Konowal at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is sufficient interest, we will make one Tuesday Evening Prayer into an Evensong service every month. I hope that we can also begin a book study on a contemporary topic of interest.
It is hard to be a worshipping community during this pandemic. Let us try to connect over the phone or zoom. I hope that the Zoom Evening Prayer beginning next week and the Book Study beginning next month will help bring us closer to each other. Let us pray that we will soon be able to gather for worship and experience the joy of the Risen Christ in our midst.
Collect: Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect: Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Collect: Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect: Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect: Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
Dear Siblings in Christ,
How is your prayer life these days? Mine is active, but my heart often rebels against it under the weight of all the “bad news” of the day. The good news is that prayer doesn’t have to be eloquent or spoken with our head bowed and eyes closed. It doesn’t have to happen at the same time every day. In fact, the form of my own prayer changes almost daily, sometimes as stillness where I just listen for God, sometimes written as poetry, sometimes as a simple “Lord, have mercy”, and sometimes my prayer takes the form of photographing nature. Henri Nouwen (who was a Dutch Catholic priest) wrote that prayer is “the intentional, concentrated, and regular effort to create space for God”. So, all we really must do is open up space in our hearts for God. This itself is prayer. If you find this difficult (as I sometimes have), you might just say, “God, give me the desire to create space for you.”
This past month, our team of intercessors has been asked to pray for the individual needs of many people. We invite you to pray with us for their health and healing (listed by first name only): Margie, Kate, Tony, Mark, Edward, Susan, Kathy, Constance, Bob, Andrea, George, Kim, Joe, Christine, Shaun and Mike. We also pray for the repose of the soul of David and Desarae. And, of course, we continue to hold in our hearts all who are impacted by COVID-19 whether physically, emotionally, or economically and all who are impacted by (and complicit in) unjust systems.
Peace and blessings,
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.
HIAS Refugee Family Ministry
Gloria Dei’s ministry group continues to support the Byaese refugee family – from afar. We deliver gifts of groceries, ShopRite gift cards, and other items like books, fans and face masks from time to time. Our one-year commitment to this project is completed in October. After that time, we are welcome to stay in touch and we hope to eventually host a pot-luck lunch at Gloria Dei so that everyone can finally meet this wonderful family. We are currently assisting with the search for new housing in the Bartram school district.
Contact Jill Duink at firstname.lastname@example.org to donate items that can be delivered or, as always, monetary donations can be made through Gloria Dei.
Settlement Music School Scholarship
Would you like to fulfill one of your bucket list items or improve a talent? Do you know or have a child longing for music?
The drawing for next year’s Settlement Music Scholarship will be held on Sunday, August 23. Please fill in the attached form on or before August 22 and mail to Gloria Dei or call/email Jill Duink with your information at 215-290-9668 or email@example.com.
Last year Jill took beginning guitar lessons with a very patient instructor, Nero. Lessons started in person and switched to online in March. Either way, it was a great experience.
The cost for lessons cost about $40 per half hour last year, reduced to $19.75 with the scholarship. Group classes, if they are offered this year, are fully covered. Please call or check the Settlement Music School website for more information.
August 2020 Calendar
Sundays in August 2nd
Live worship in sanctuary at 10 AM. 25 people allowed in the sanctuary.
Tuesdays - August 4th
Evening Prayer on Zoom at 6 PM, followed by “coffee hour” (or whatever you like to drink!) Email Jaime at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Zoom link.
Coming in September…
A New Look At The Amazing Success Of Philadelphia’s Founder William Penn [Zoom Lecture]
September 16 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Free
Watch this special program and discover what Philly was really like when William Penn got here in 1682.
Jim Murphy will present a pre-recorded video stream starting at 7pm, which will conclude at 7:45. Then, Jim will be LIVE for your Q&A until 8:30. We hope this gives you the best of both – a professionally recorded lecture with the opportunity to engage with the speaker!
Find out “How William Penn turned a ‘howling wilderness’ into America’s fastest growing city” that leapt right past both New York and Boston.
The Presenter: Jim Murphy, a certified member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides, writer of over 60 articles on Philadelphia’s heroes and historic places, and soon-to-be author of a fast-reading book on Philly history by Temple University Press.
You’ll Discover: Why the American Society of Civil Engineers added Penn’s plan to its List of Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks, what a group of Chinese students noticed about Philadelphia several years ago, and what a visitor found unique about Philadelphia in 1744.
Plus you will see an out-of-this-world photo … and learn an easy way to remember Philadelphia street names very few people know about. (Jim learned it from his mother.)
It will be an evening of fun facts and enjoyable entertainment. Don’t miss it!