Our response to COVID-19

From St. Francis Rector The Rev. Dr. Brent Was:

Besides continuing to worship, albeit remotely, this is how we are responding to the pandemic:

1.       Slowing the spread:

  •   In addition to worship being suspended, the building will be closed to outside groups with the exception of AA.
  •  All meetings will become virtual, starting with Vestry this afternoon

2.       Serving Blue Hill

  •  Community Supported Lobster! We are supporting a local lobsterman by buying lobster direct each week, which we then deliver community members. Supporting our local economy is paramount in this moment. The lobsters are >1lbs each and cost $6, and will be delivered on Fridays (weather depending). interested email Fr Brent: bwas@riseup.net
  • Sue Grindle and the Outreach Committee are working hard to determine needs.  We will be on a call with Healthy Peninsula Thursday to see if we can help them
  •  The pastor at First Congregational, the Rev. Deborah Jenks and I are working on getting a faithful voice into the community, this will come in the form of a regular column in the Weekly Packet

3.      Serving each other

  • Shopping Ministry is coming together!  Milissa LaLonde, our intrepid Senior Warden will be the coordinator.  If you need something essential from outside, groceries, prescriptions and the like, get in touch with her: home 469-2155, cell 385-5019(voice and text) or email milissa.lalonde@gmail.com  She will take your order and dispatch someone to the store.  We will discuss how payment works tonight at vestry.  Our first shopping is happening today.  If you are interested in being a shopper, let Milissa know.
  • Phone Tree is being developed.  The purpose is to check in (are you ok, do you need anything), pass on any news, and just a time to chat. Expect a call.  Soon.
  • Our beloved administrator, Barbara Brady, will be working from home starting today.  She will be checking voicemail regularly and will be on email.  
  • Pastoral care.    If there is a pastoral emergency, such as a death, I will be there, that is my place as your priest, but other concerns will be dealt with over the phone or with FaceTime or Skype. 

A note about returning to Blue Hill now…

Two weeks ago I encouraged anyone considering returning to Blue Hill for the summer to prayerfully consider if that was what you were really supposed to do given the minimal medical resources in Hancock County.  With Governor Mills’ order yesterday, which discourages anyone from returning and mandates a 2-weeks self-quarantine upon arrival, as well as Blue Hill’s first COVID-19 case, I ask you please, do not come back until the stay at home order is lifted, which for now is April 30.  If you have no choice but to come, be extremely careful when you travel and be sure to bring provisions for your two week quarantine with you.  If you come and stock up at Tradewinds before quarantining yourself, you are putting everyone on the peninsula at risk.


Reflection on Thursday of the 3rd Week of Lent

I was saying Compline with my daughters last night, a Lenten practice we have, and a verse from Psalm 4 struck me in a way that it never has before:  

“Many are saying, ‘Oh, that we might see better times!’ * 

Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.”

I am not sure what sort of times they were having when Psalm 4 was written, but we are in some uncertain times ourselves right now, more uncertain than in my lifetime.  The writer lamented their situation, they were honest about how hard it was, how scared they were, andthey didn’t languish there.  The author knew where to turn: God.  

The way of God is the way of faith.  Having faith doesn’t mean that you believe that everything will be ok.  For many it is not, will not be ok.  The physical, mental, financial and social well-being of most of us are in question in ways most of us are very unaccustomed to right now.

“Tremble, then, and do not sin; * 

speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.”

It is ok to be scared right now.  I am certainly having my moments of fear for my children, my parents and in-laws, for you all, this congregation I am just getting to know and love.  Be it for the world, for those you love, for you own well-being, even your life, fear is not an unfaithful response to scary things.

            “Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; * 

when I call upon the Lord He will hear me…  

Offer the appointed sacrifices * 

and put your trust in the Lord.”

As I said in my sermon on Sunday, faith in God in this moment doesn’t mean that it will be ok, not that “God is my hand sanitizer if I only believe enough.”  Putting our trust in God is not expressing confidence or even expecting this cup to pass us by.  Putting our trust in God in moments like this is accepting what is.  It is doing everything we can, like using the hand sanitizer that God’s gift of memory, reason and skill gave us the power to create.  It is maintaining social distance, staying at home, caring for yourself and the vulnerable around us, doing all of that and knowing that that is all we can do.  Faith in God means approaching the inevitable without fearful loathing, without denial and panic, but with patience and courage, because if we have done what can be done, what else can we do?  In Christian language, that is what we mean “God’s will be done.”

When we can do that, really accept what is happening, not rail against the inevitable, it will be like…

            “You have put gladness in my heart, * more than when grain ad wine and oil increase.

            I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; * for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

I do not know many of you yet, but there is a real sense of love and compassion and caring here, one that I haven’t seen so clearly in a church community before.  That is a strength that will carry us all.

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