Friday, March 27th, 2020
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:8-11
I have been impressed with the level of creativity in how our churches are now reaching parishioners and the exchange of ideas to serve the most vulnerable in our diocese. The last two weeks has seen an increase in the number of ways we now communicate with one another. Yet, despite these gains in connectivity, there are many who are cut off from their churches. People in nursing homes or retirement communities who depend on the physical church each week. The exchange of peace and communion with a family of friends. People in the category of “highest risk” because of their age, now unable to leave the grounds of their facilities.
Across our five counties, thousands of children are out of school. Can we raise up a group of children volunteers to write letters to people living in senior facilities? A letter that could give hope to someone. Or, even a drawing from the very young. Sign your letter or photo with an identifier – “from a member of [INSERT CHURCH NAME.]” If facilities are not accepting letters, ask if you can send emails to be shared.
I am asking all of our church youth leaders to consider this as a vital part of your ministry over the next few weeks. If you don’t know of a nursing home or senior facility near your church, contact us. If you don’t think you have enough youth in your church to help, ask the rest of your parishioners. Share a passage from the Bible, share a poem, share something of yourself with a stranger.
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania