Weekly Bible Sharing
With the Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law
We’re taking our Bible sharing sessions online. Join Us!
Thursday, April 2nd
Join via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/101690960
Or, join by phone: (408) 638-0968
Meeting ID: 101-690-960#
A NEW LENTEN JOURNEY: LIFE AT ST PAUL IN THE DESERT
A Message from the Rector
March 22, 2020
A whole new world has been thrust upon in these several of these past fast-moving weeks such as we have not known before. I am sure most of you are as bewildered and surprised as I am to suddenly be unable to worship together or do most of the things with others in our lives that we have always taken for granted.
The idea of the “Diaspora” has leaped into my mind – the word that described our Jewish ancestors who were scattered over many part of the world after the Exile and on through many centuries in many, if not most, Jewish did NOT live in the homeland in Palestine. They were “scattered” far and wide away from home and had to learn what it was to be the People of God in alien and strange places and circumstances.
As with essentially every other parish community in our country (and others), we are also now in a condition of “Diaspora”. For safety we cannot gather at our Home of Eucharistic worship or meet with our parish friends and fellow ministers that we have worked with. We are well-advised by both the secular and ecclesiastical authorities to “stay at home” for our own health as well as that of others. This is a new kind of Lenten wilderness for I am sure nearly all of us. As our interim rector, pastor and friend, I would like to offer some strongly felt thou! We may be scattered far and wide at our several homes in and around Palm Springs. We are, nonetheless, still a parish home and nothing has changed as to who we are (even if we are currently far from our Eucharistic home.
Secondly, it is now time to be even more diligent than ever before to stay in touch with each other and care for one another. Isolation and feeling cut off is extremely harmful and I hope that we will use the telephone, texts, emails or whatever it takes to stay connected. Feeling alone only makes for even more anxiety. I think I am as concerned about the social implications and disruptions as much as the medical crisis itself. Perhaps you might call up or connect with those in the parish whom you used to meet with or have a common interest. Or maybe just anyone who you might think is feeling isolated or in need of a friendly “Hello.”
Thirdly I invite you to pray with me during the week. I recite Morning and Evening Prayer in my chapel every day and if you have a Prayer Book, we can pray “together. These are the official “Prayers of the Church” and if you could use help in how to do the Offices, I would be more than glad to coach you over the phone. Obviously there are other forms of prayer, books and aids that could suit different persons. We are still the People of God and we can still be the people of prayer in any form that is right for you. Let us also pray for those in the fields of Healthcare who work at person risk on behalf of all of us.
Fourthly, it is my intention to be in touch will all of you in the days ahead by phone (my personal preference for communication). Yes, I have a parish list and I intend to use it. I have no quota about how many calls per day/week, but it will be to all for whom I have a number. In addition, please feel free to all me if you would like to be in touch, converse or share thoughts and feelings. Rather than calling the parish office, do use my cell number which is 951.314.2301. As a second choice you may call my home number at 760.362.4670. Please know that if I do not answer right away, I will get back to you.
For however long the “time of our exile” or Diaspora will last, we must trust that it is not forever. Only God is “forever” The Creator is still just that – or God has not abandoned us or Creation. The Risen Lord, at the end of Matthew’s Gospel, proclaims to his disciples who will soon scatter all over the world what we must continue to hold onto: “Lo, I am with you always.” Nothing the really matter has changed. We are Easter People and Christ is still Risen.
“By this shall all know that your are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” This is how God’s people survive whatever form of wilderness we must travel through. No form of Diaspora or scattering can separate us from the Lord Jesus. Our Lord never self-isolates from anyone. Let us hold onto each other as He holds on to us. And the Risen One will indeed bring us Home again!
Your friend in Christ,
The Rev. Canon David L. Caffrey
Coronavirus COVID-19 Update
Many regular Church activities and meetings are being cancelled due to health concerns. Please check back daily for updates.
God has invited us to share the abundant life of Jesus Christ through the Church of St. Paul in the Desert, by serving Christ in others and by gathering to praise and thank God in worship. We are a welcoming, empowering, supportive community.
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego is a missionary community that dares to follow Jesus Christ in his life of fearless love for the world.