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COVID-19

A Pastoral Letter from the Episcopal Bishops in California

May 23, 2020

“Jesus said:  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27)”

 

From the beginning of the pandemic, our Episcopal congregations and our respective dioceses have been strengthened by prayer, study, and praise.  In this time, our churches have never “closed” or ceased in teaching, fellowship, prayer and service to our communities; we have simply continued our gatherings on-line and in homes, bowing to Christ’s authority and the teaching that we are to act out of love for others.

 

As the weeks go on, the weather is nicer, and our solitude continues, there is pressure to get out, be among people and gather.  Churches are a place where we feel that pressure intensely, for we are a people that is embodied and communal, and we often refer to ourselves as “family.”

 

Over the past few weeks, we have carefully considered how and when we will re-gather in person.  We recognize that our plans are not as simple as unlocking a door and walking in.  All of our congregations are actively making plans centered spiritually on our love for others, and scientifically on the realities of disease. The reminders from the CDC, and state government tug us into the reality that we still do not know enough about COVID-19 to gather safely in the same ways as before; we need to find new ways to keep our people safe. 

 

We are grateful for our rights as Americans and as Christians. Even so, we put priority not on standing up for those rights, but rather on having the mind of Christ and becoming servants of God, of our congregation, and of our community. (Philippians 2:5-11)

 

For these reasons, each of our dioceses will follow its re-entry protocols as planned. We are carefully monitoring directives from local governments and especially the State of California, which will not permit in-person worship until stage three. When the time comes, we will make decisions that we and our discernment partners think best for the diocesan families we serve. For now, we will not re-gather in our church buildings but will continue to attend church virtually in our homes, greeting each other via technology, and loving God and our neighbor. We will continue to protect, serve, and advocate for the most vulnerable among us. (Matthew 25:31-46)

 

 

The way in which each of us loves our neighbor is sacrificial; it is a holy offering not only for our faith communities, but also and very importantly, for first responders and health care workers who are putting their lives on the line.  As God’s people, we make this profound offering prayerfully and reflectively, knowing that in God we live and move and have our being.

 

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

 

In Christ,

The Right Reverend Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of California

The Right Reverend Lucinda Beth Ashby, Bishop of El Camino Real

The Right Reverend Diane M. Jardine Bruce, Bishop Suffragan of Los Angeles

The Right Reverend David Rice, Bishop of San Joaquin

The Right Reverend Susan Brown Snook, Bishop of San Diego

The Right Reverend John Harvey Taylor, Bishop of Los Angeles

The Right Reverend Megan McClure Traquair, Bishop of Northern California

 

Una carta de los Obispos Episcopales en California, 23 de mayo de 2020


“Jesús dijo: Amarás al Señor tu Dios con todo tu corazón, y con toda tu alma, y ​​con todas tus fuerzas, y con toda tu mente, y amarás a tu prójimo como a ti mismo. (Lucas 10:27) "

Desde el comienzo de la pandemia, nuestras congregaciones Episcopales y nuestras respectivas diócesis se han fortalecido con la oración, el estudio y la alabanza. En este tiempo, nuestras iglesias nunca han "cerrado" o cesado en la enseñanza, la comunión, la oración y el servicio a nuestras comunidades; simplemente continuamos nuestras reuniones en línea y en los hogares, inclinándonos ante la autoridad de Cristo y la enseñanza de que debemos actuar por amor a los demás.

A medida que pasan las semanas, el clima es más agradable y nuestra soledad continúa, hay presión para salir, estar entre la gente y reunirse. Las iglesias son un lugar donde sentimos esa presión intensamente, porque somos personas encarnadas y comunitarias, y a menudo nos referimos a nosotros mismos como "familia".

En las últimas semanas, hemos considerado cuidadosamente cómo y cuándo nos reuniremos en persona. Reconocemos que nuestros planes no son tan simples como abrir una puerta y entrar. Todas nuestras congregaciones están haciendo planes centrados espiritualmente en nuestro amor por los demás y científicamente en las realidades de la enfermedad. Los recordatorios del CDC y el gobierno estatal nos llevan a la realidad de que todavía no sabemos lo suficiente sobre COVID-19 para reunirnos de manera segura del mismo modo que antes; Necesitamos encontrar nuevas formas de mantener a nuestra gente segura.

Estamos agradecidos por nuestros derechos como estadounidenses y cristianos. Aun así, damos prioridad no a defender esos derechos, sino a tener la mente de Cristo y convertirnos en siervos de Dios, de nuestra congregación y de nuestra comunidad. (Filipenses 2: 5-11)

Por estas razones, cada una de nuestras diócesis seguirá sus protocolos de reingreso según lo planeado.  Estamos monitoreando cuidadosamente las directivas de los gobiernos locales y especialmente del Estado de California, que no permitirán el servicios en persona hasta la etapa tres.  Cuando llegue el momento, tomaremos las decisiones que nosotros y nuestros socios de discernimiento piensen sean mejor para las familias diocesanas a las que servimos.  Por ahora, no nos reuniremos nuevamente en los edificios de nuestra iglesia, sino que continuaremos asistiendo a la iglesia virtualmente en nuestros hogares, saludándonos a través de la tecnología y amando a Dios y a nuestro prójimo.  Continuaremos protegiendo, sirviendo y abogando por los más vulnerables entre nosotros.  (Mateo 25: 31-46)


La forma en que cada uno de nosotros ama a nuestro prójimo es de sacrificio; Es una ofrenda sagrada no solo para nuestras comunidades religiosas, sino también y, lo que es más importante, el personal de primeros auxilios y trabajadores de la salud que están arriesgando sus vidas. Como pueblo de Dios, hacemos esta profunda ofrenda en oración y reflexión, sabiendo que en Dios vivimos, nos movemos y somos.

Dios todopoderoso y eterno, atrae nuestros corazones hacia ti, guía nuestras mentes, llena nuestra imaginación, controla nuestras voluntades, para que podamos ser completamente tuyos, completamente dedicados a ti; y luego úsanos, roguemos, como quieras, y siempre para tu gloria y el bienestar de tu pueblo; a través de nuestro Señor y Salvador Jesucristo. Amén.

 

En Cristo,

 

El Reverendísimo Marc Handley Andrus, Obispo de California

La Reverendísima Lucinda Beth Ashby, Obispa de El Camino Real

La Reverendísima Diane M. Jardine Bruce, Obispa Sufragánea de Los Angeles

El Reverendísimo David Rice, Obispo de San Joaquin

La Reverendísima Susan Brown Snook, Obispa de San Diego

El Reverendísimo John Harvey Taylor, Obispo de Los Angeles

La Reverendísima Megan McClure Traquair, Obispa del Norte de California

Find resources and live information at St. James Cathedral

St James Together Logo with Crest SHR WI
A Prayer for Immigrants in the midst of COVID-19

 

Oh Lord; in this time of Covid-19 as we take shelter in our homes, we ask you to spread your love and healing over our brothers and sisters held in overcrowded detention centers and refugee camps. 

We ask Lord that you may soften the hearts of those in authority, that them may care for our sisters and brothers in this time of crisis.

We ask this in Jesus’s name. Amen

PREVIOUS LETTERS & VIDEOS

BISHOP DAVID RICE

Pastoral Letter from Bishop David

 

June 2, 2020

 

Sisters and Brothers of EDSJ,

 

Yesterday, we paused and remained silent as we joined with millions in a National Day of Mourning. The intention of the day was to remember and grieve over 107,000 people no longer with us in the US and over 371,000 worldwide. And we are painfully aware that those numbers continue to increase daily.  

 

And so, we remember and we grieve.

 

We have remained consistent in EDSJ regarding our response to this horrific pandemic. We have identified that public health will always take priority over economics. We have acknowledged that communal and theological responsibility will always supersede individual rights. And we have named that the very best way we can ensure care of and for one another is by taking care of ourselves through adherence to protocols and precautions. 

 

And so, we remember and we grieve.

 

Tired and weary and grieving we are. We have been engulfed by COVID-19.  It has redefined and refigured most aspects of our lives. It has taken life from us, both literally and figuratively. And as a result, we will never be the same.

 

And so, we remember and we grieve.

 

And yesterday, in-and-around our pausing and remaining silent, we were yet again confronted by images of protestation. Protests continue to occur throughout many of our cities from Minneapolis to Los Angeles to New York to Seattle to Washington D.C. and innumerable places in between. And the images prompt us to grieve even more deeply. The grieving about which I write comes from hearing chants: “I can’t breathe.” The grieving takes place as we see a memorial, a chalk drawing on a wall surrounded by flowers and people kneeling in quietness. The grieving occurs as we see businesses looted, vehicles torched and unmitigated despondency and rage on display. Let’s be clear, the violence in our streets must stop. This violence and opportunistic destruction will not bring solace to our rage or despondency or grief. The violence must stop. However, what must continue are the peaceful and prophetic protests declaring that brutality, inequality and injustice have no place on our streets or in our lives. And so, grieve we must. And may our grief lead us to peaceful action, to peaceful change.

 

And so, we remember and we grieve.

 

Yesterday, we paused and remained silent. There is a time and place to pause and to remain silent and there is a time and place to act and to give voice. Now is our time to act and to give voice. The other pandemic in our midst must also stop. Racism has no place on our streets or in our lives.  

 

And so, we remember and we grieve.

 

Remain silent we must not, if we dare follow Jesus. Remain silent we must not, if we dare live out our Baptismal Covenant:

 

“Will you strive for justice and peace

among all people, and respect the

dignity of every human being?”

 

“I will, with God’s help.”

 

The very breath was taken from George Floyd on Monday, May 25. On May 31, six days later, the Church celebrated Pentecost, God breathing God’s very breath into God’s People.  

 

Sisters and Brothers of EDSJ, George Floyd wasn’t the first person of color to have his breath taken from him.  Unfortunately, the list is far too long to recount.  We can say this with absolute certainty, we are called to breathe our breath, the very breath of God into this grieving world in which we live.  And we are called to act and to give voice to ensure that no breath is ever taken away again.

 

And so, we remember and we grieve.

 

Blessings,

+David 

Anglican Communion

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EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF SAN JOAQUIN

4147 East Dakota Avenue, Fresno, CA 93726

Email:contact@diosanjoaquin.org

Phone: (209) 576-0104