This article is part of the Easter 2020 Trinity Magazine issue. You can view the entire issue here.
By the Rt. Rev. James L Hobby, Jr.
Since I grew up in a lot of places (3 grade schools, 2 middle schools, and 2 high schools) and have lived in many parts of the country (the Midwest, the East Coast, New England, the South, and Southwestern PA), I have lived my life as a stranger and alien. When people ask me where I'm from, I give a travelogue instead of an address.
The College of Bishops and our own Bishop Hobby, have asked everyone to pray for an end to the pandemic during the Good Friday fast this week. Pray that the spread would stop in its tracks, and for an end to deaths. Please feel free to fast other times, too, as you feel led by the Lord.
In the earliest days of the Church, the Lord's Supper was celebrated in homes in the context of a communal meal. Over time, the meal was set aside, and the sole focus of the gathering became Word and Sacrament. In many traditions, a vestige of the earliest pattern remains in what is often called an Agape Meal. The Agape Meal is commonly received after Eucharist.
We learned this week that both the Rev. Dr. Kirsten Gardner, canonically-resident clergy member and regular columnist on Trinity Magazine, and her husband, Mark, are both recovering at home after contracting the coronavirus. I found what she shared to be of great help to understand how to care for ourselves in that eventuality, but also for how to reach out and help others who are sick and recovering at home.
Symptoms the Gardners experienced:
Through the COVID-19 pandemic, many congregations have come up with creative ways to worship together while practicing social distancing, using video technology. Congregations that are streaming services currently include:
“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead…” 2 Tim 2:8
The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh is forming a two-year experimental training cohort to prepare individuals for service as spiritual directors and companions (the “Vessels of Honor” cohort).
Greetings in the name of our All-powerful Lord,
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear…” (Psalm 46:1).
Many of our congregations and parishes are considering their responses to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. The Diocese is curating resources that are specific to parishes, and both our Bishop and Archbishop have made pastoral statements. We'll be adding to this blog post as new resources come our way, stay tuned.