March 2021 – a month of special days…
- Daylight Savings (spring forward)
- St Patrick’s Day (he is not an “official” saint)
- First day of Spring (half-way to summer)
- Passover (begins at sunset on 3/27 this year)
- Palm Sunday (the beginning of Holy Week)
- And the one-year anniversary of the “lock down”
(Our last “regular” service in the sanctuary was on March 8th. Since then, there have been half a million deaths in the U.S. and 2.5 million in the world. Mask wearing has become habit or protest, immeasurable suffering and grief, isolation as few could have imagined it, and now a roll out of vaccines.)
Last week Lincoln County was moved from a High-Risk county to Low Risk one. This is another sign that our careful managing of the virus is paying off. There are also many of you who have, or soon will receive vaccinations. There won’t be an “ OPEN UP DAY” when a switch clicks off and we can meet and hug and laugh right next to each other. It will probably happen slowly and incrementally and in ways we don’t expect.
Though not a canonized saint, Patrick had some God informed wisdom and a life that unfolded in ways he didn’t expect. Stolen from home by pirates at age 16, he was a slave in Ireland until he escaped at age 22. He fled to his home in Britton and converted to Christianity (because ya know, that’s what you do when you escape from slavery). Then…he RETURNED to Ireland and spent the rest of his life sharing the faith in the land he first knew in slavery.
Unexpected paths often lead to treasured arrivals. Or, as Lao Tzu put it, new beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. I cling to that hope. That there are treasured and unexpected new beginnings ahead.
I leave you with a powerful, prayerful words attributed to St. Patrick.
Peace be upon you, Wendy
Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me,
Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort me and restore me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me, Christ in the hearts of all that love me,
Christ in the mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind myself to God’s power to guide me, God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to teach me, God’s Eye to watch over me, God’s Ear to hear me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to shelter me, God’s host to secure me…Against the snares of demons, against the seductions of vices, against the lusts of nature, against everyone who meditates injury to me, whether far or near, few or many.
The book club will not be meeting in March. The book selection, Russian Winter, which was intended for March will be moved to April, and Devil in the White City will be the book for May.
Larry – March 3
Bob – March 5
Gary – March 12
Roy – March 13
William K. – March 24
Lousie – March 29
The tree in front of the church is starting to blossom with your prayers. You can use the cloth strips provided in your Lent Bag or pick one from the box under the tree. Write your prayer for peace on the strip and tie to the tree. Watch as the tree continues become more colorful with your prayers. Come by the church and take some time reading and praying the prayers on the tree.
Each Wednesday for seven weeks there is an opportunity to gather via Zoom to study aspects of Lent and have conversation with others from Chapel by the Sea and Waldport Community Church. The study starts at 6:30PM. A link to join on Zoom will be sent each Tuesday. As part of the discipline of this time spent together have your Lent candle provided in your Lent bag lit and close by to help you focus on this time of study, conversation and prayer.