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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Meet Heather & Jeremy

 I moved in August 2019 for a job at NHRMC, Jeremy joined me in October. We moved from Rennsselaer, NY. When I moved to Wilmington, I searched for different Episcopal churches in the area on Google and Facebook. I started coming in the fall of 2019. Jeremy joined me in once we sold our house in New York. We love the people and the community. We felt genuinely welcome and included in the community Everyone is friendly and looks out for each other. Soon after we started coming to the church, we joined the band.  The music program is so much fun. All musicians get a chance to shine and share their gifts with the group and the congregation. The band is like a family. Holy Cross has so many great opportunities for gathering together-we enjoyed the lectio divina, the contemplative prayer, the game nights, the agape breakfast, and the events with the Muslim community.
We are both from Upstate New York and met online. Our first date was a Ringo Starr concert.  We were active in our church in New York, and we are still connected to my home parish of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Bennington, VT. Fun fact-we were married by the priest of St. Peter's at the Bennington Museum in Bennington, VT. Jeremy programs industrial machines for Precision Valve and Automation, based out of Cohoes, NY. I am a ServiceNow administrator at NHRMC.  Hobbies: Heather-crochet, knitting, hanging out with our cat Rusty, volunteering at Skywatch Rescue, IT projects, blogging, writing, Bollywood movies, learning to cook Indian dishes, contemplative prayer, reading. Jeremy: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, cooking, reading, contemplative prayer.  We enjoy road trips and getting out in nature.  We are so excited to be close to the ocean here. To new members and prospective members I say-Please join us! This community is amazing. Come and see :)

 

Heather and Jeremy


Justice (Part Two)

Justice
(Part Two)

Greetings again and obviously, I’m still wrapped up in the “Justice of these times” together. I’ve been challenging myself this last week with one particular question:

Praying shaping believing

In other words does our repeated praying about justice really shape what we, as Episcopalians believe about justice? Or are we really far more like the rest of the world around us on the subject of justice—as likely to have our understanding of justice shaped by the news, the attitudes of our friends, or our personal experience of life? How does our praying shape what we believe about justice? And how do our beliefs about justice shape what we pray for, or against—or whom we pray for, and why?

Justice is an integral part of what we mean by “Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world.” It is essential to the Church’s mission to “restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ”…as it prays and worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace and love.

Finally, if this is what justice is supposed to be about, then it definitely is not about revenge, retribution, “giving people what they’re due,” humiliation, or vengeance on those who we believe have fallen short of God’s desire for them. Justice in both the Old and New Testaments must be distinguished clearly from either the quest of righteousness or for judgment against sinners. Time and again in the Bible the standards by which God measures justice turn out to be contrary to what the world would do given its own standards of righteousness and judgment.

Yesterday we celebrated Memorial Day across our nation. At Trinity Grove where I serve as a chaplain we came together, in part, by naming those who gave their lives in service to these United States, some, paying what is named as ‘the ultimate sacrifice’. We also recognized the ‘survivors’ among us; while others celebrated Memorial Day with those freedoms so sacrificially provided by:

• Refusing to wear a mask to protect another and/or coughing on another
• Hanging in effigy the governor of Kentucky
• Refusing to socially distance to protect another
• Creating and spreading false information about COVID-19

May God continue to guide and support our praying to shape our believing.

In the name of Love, Nancy+

Covid-19 Update

Dear Holy Cross Community:

During this time of unprecedented national response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, we have been blessed to be able to discover ways to continue to sustain our congregation and plan for its future, even while finding alternative forms for many of our most precious activities. This has been possible only because each of you has done your part to make this a journey of love, choosing to keep ourselves, our friends, family, and neighbors safe, and stay connected to others in our congregation through online worship and educational opportunities, and even old-fashion telephone networking. 

We have listened not just to our city and state political leaders, as well as our diocesan and national church leaders, but also the wisdom and advice of the best medical specialists in our country. The result is that of the 632 confirmed deaths from of Covid-19 in North Carolina, only 3 deaths have occurred in New Hanover County, and none of them have occurred at Holy Cross. We are blessed to be safe and well at this point in a challenging journey together.

While some faith communities in our Diocese are choosing to begin some forms of worshiping publicly again immediately, now that Bishop Skirving has removed his two month long prohibition of public worship, we at Holy Cross are taking a measured and deliberate approach to restarting community gatherings and activities. This has been particularly important for our community because so many of us fall into the group most at risk from this virus – persons over 65 and with some underlying medical conditions. There are still 466 new cases of Covid-19 per day in North Carolina, and the more testing that is done, the more cases we realize had gone undetected. This is why Bishop Skirving currently advises that congregations must encourage all high-risk individuals to stay home rather than risk the chance of infection.

 The Holy Cross Vestry will be discussing our ongoing efforts to keep all of you, and all with whom you come into contact, safe and healthy. The state regulations for Phase I of reopening facilities in the state will be in effect until at least May 22. They allow indoor worship of up to 10 people, which means that many congregations will need to hold multiple Sunday services. In Bishop Skirving’s words: “Before resuming public worship, a congregation must develop a detailed plan for public worship and must follow this plan each week. This plan must respect and incorporate all/any requirements of state and local leaders of government.

 All participants’ need to

·        Maintain at least six feet of physical distancing, whether indoors or outdoors

·        Wear a cloth face covering indoors, and also outdoors when physical distance of six feet cannot be maintained.

·        Carry and regularly use hand sanitizer.

·        Frequently wash hands using soap and water (singing Jesus loves me is a good washing length.

·        Regularly clean all high touch surfaces.

·        Stay at home if sick.

Bishop Skirving admits, “An argument may be made that there is no method of sharing communion that is without at least some risk.” He continues, “In everything that we do, we ought to look beyond our own needs as individuals and as congregations. How will the decisions we make and the actions that we take contribute to the prevention of further spread of COVID-19? How will the decisions we make and the actions that we take demonstrate our love for all who suffer in body, mind or spirit? How will the decisions we make and the actions that we take support us in striving for justice and peace among all people, and in respecting the dignity of every human being?”

 In practical terms, this means “Worship must be modified in order to prevent unnecessary physical contact during the liturgy. Worship leaders must model physical distancing, wear cloth face coverings, wash hands with soap and water before worship and use hand sanitizer during worship, before and after touching anything that others would touch.” Prayer Books and Hymnals and Song Books should be handled as little as possible. It also means “At this time, there must be no congregational or choral singing in public worship, as

singing has been identified as a particularly risky behavior for the spread of COVID-19.” “There must be no physical contact during the Exchange of the Peace.” “At this time, congregations must not offer coffee gatherings or other forms of reception following worship.”

 Given the risks still involved, the difficulties in observing all these continuing restrictions, and the fact that the health and lives of each of you is not up for negotiation, we must not let ourselves be pushed to get back to “the way it used to be.” I will be working with your Wardens and Vestry to chart our path forward. We will let you know our recommendations as soon as possible.

 Faithfully, Nancy +