This author has seen a plaque outside the oldest church in Britain, St. Martin’s, Canterbury. That plaque reads…
We do not have all the answers. We are on a spiritual journey. We look to Scripture, reason and tradition to help us on our way. Whoever you are, we offer you a space to draw nearer to God and walk with us.
May the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist become such a place for you.
This month in the natural world finds us entering a season of sunshine, warm temperatures, vacations, and a break from the routines of work and school. The prospect of continuing our social distancing, and no gatherings either indoor or out is disappointing. We pray for a major lessening of the effects of Covid-19, and a return to a life that we recognize from years past.
The church calendar has several days of note. July 4 is, as we know, Independence Day, the day in 1776 that the signers of the Declaration of Independence declared us to be a new nation. The Episcopal Church has its historical roots in the Church of England. Many members of that church, now colonials, faced a spiritual and connectional challenge. The word “Episcopal” means a church with bishops. William White and Samuel Seabury were two of the first bishops of the fledgling Episcopal Church in the USA.
Our church calendar recognizes two main saints. Mary Magdalene was a close friend of Jesus. She was among the women who visited Jesus’ tomb on what we now know as Easter Sunday morning. She was the first go run to the apostles and announce to them, especially Peter, that she had seen the lord, and that he was not in the tomb, but risen. Some have suggested that she was in actuality an apostle alongside the other twelve. Her day is on July 22.
James the Apostle’is remembered on July 25. James was close to Jesus and was in the inner circle of apostles along with Peter and John. Many make pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. That shrine is dedicated to St. James the Apostle.
We’ll not be gathering in the church for these services this year due to the social distancing required due to the virus pandemic. Our absence from church building does not mean that the faith is absent. We’re all at home this year, but the joy of Easter continues. We look forward to the happy day that we resume our worship in our church home.