Forward Day by Day is a daily devotional offered by Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church. To learn more about their ministry and resources, visit www.forwardmovement.org.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Episcopal Church developed the Habits of Grace podcast in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the podcast's page on the national church's website:
As we learn how to adjust our lives given the reality of the coronavirus and the request to do our part to slow its spread by practicing social distancing, I invite you to join me each week to take a moment to cultivate a ‘habit of grace.’
We'll publish the rest of this series on Wednesdays through the month of May. The complete series is available at the main page linked above.
By the Reverend Sally Weaver
A power that cannot be controlled ruthlessly changing the world. For the world of Jesus, it was the might of Rome. For us today, it’s the coronavirus. “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
People displaced from their livelihoods. In first-century Palestine, taxation and absentee landlords caused peasant farmers to lose their lands and their living. Currently in the United States, 33 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits. “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
People going hungry. Under Roman domination the at-risk population grew; only those who worked that day could afford to eat that day. Today hundreds of cars line up for a trunkful of food from pantries across the nation. “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
By the Reverend Dr. Warren Crews
The second common symbol was the picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, usually with a lamb slung over his shoulder. This symbol was often painted on the walls of the Roman catacombs. All this changed dramatically, when the Roman general Constantine became emperor, and declared himself a Christian. He ended the use of the cross for crucifixions, and declared it to be the preferred symbol for Christianity. Even so, it took a long time for most Christians to embrace this once hated symbol of Roman terrorism. They hung onto the Good Shepherd symbol as long as they could, but in the end the Cross won out.
As we've worshiped together online during the COVID-19 pandemic, we've realized that this format has provided a great way for congregation members to get to know people beyond their "social circles" in the church. We decided to extend that "getting to know each other better" with a series of features on members of our congregation.
By Mary Anne Pikrone
Allyce Bullock, who has been sidelined with back problems for some time, says she’s now delighted to have another role at St. John’s—as head of the Care Committee, which keeps track of people on the weekly prayer list. The committee also will be working on sending meals to people who are sick, and making home visits.
A member of St. John’s for almost 15 years, Allyce brings to her new role a lifetime of experience that ranges from hippie/anti-war activist to widowed mother of two young girls; from city planner to Spanish teacher, from Methodist to non-Christian to Episcopalian.
While the rest of our website provides information that's relatively static, we've always got things going on here at St. John's - and we'll use our new blog to keep you in the loop!
In the immediate future, we'll use the blog to publish feature stories on members of our congregation and leadership, and to share sermons from our clergy. Got something else you'd like to see here? Let us know: use the comments below.
Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is a member of the vestry (lay governing board) at St. John's, and chairs the Communications committee.
Various members of the St. John's congregation contribute to this blog. For editorial suggestions, contact Jeff McIntire-Strasburg at email@example.com
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