While we are dispersed, Immanuelites are sharing reflections
on our individual and corporate situation.
Reflections on Life During the Pandemic
A Reflection by Kathryn Haskin
April 30, 2020
Here’s the thing that I hate to admit in this reflection. But it’s the truth. I can’t stop complaining.
I’m whining about being in my house. My house that’s full of food, has heat, AC, hot water, a ridiculous amount of stuff. I’m complaining about all the time I’m spending with the two people I love the most in the world and truly the best dog ever. I’m stressing out about work, my messy house, the weeds in the yard, and the clutter that I cannot get a handle on. I’m whining about the trips we’ve canceled, the visits we aren’t going to get to make, the milestone moments we aren’t getting to share with those we love in the ways that we want to. So much whining and complaining – it’s quite embarrassing to admit. READ MORE
Meditation on Psalm 19
A Reflection by Rick Glassco
April 10, 2020
One of the striking features of the Holy Bible is how often words written thousands of years ago jump off the page as we read them or hear them, as they apply uncannily to our current lives.
I was struck by the words of the portion of Psalm 19 that was read during our virtual Palm Sunday service. This psalm is part of the Palm Sunday liturgy every year, but listen as its opening words speak to our lives this very day: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly. For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing.” What an apt description of someone consumed by a COVID-19 fever or struggling for breath! READ MORE
A Reflection by Martha Shimkin
April 7, 2020
The Immanuel Vestry recently sent handwritten cards to every individual or group in our Parish directory. We each were assigned about 30 cards. It wasn’t necessarily easy to squeeze in this effort as we were all also moving work home, taking care of family, and striving to keep everyone healthy. Vestry members checked in on each other to make sure everyone finished their cards and we wondered…. would people appreciate this? Two weeks later I can share that our card writing effort was one of the most meaningful things for us to have done. To our surprise, Vestry members received so many thank-yous, messages, and blessings from across the Parish. I thank our parishioners, members, and friends for your open hearts to receive, as well as what you gave back in gratitude.
Now I encourage everyone to choose a few names from the Parish directory, maybe some good friends or maybe people you don’t know so well. Send a card or two or three with an uplifting message to someone in our Parish community. READ MORE
A Reflection by The Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade
March 22, 2020
I was wondering . . . What might we learn from the coronavirus pandemic?
It is obviously far too early to claim learning beyond the most immediate and tangible lessons—life is precious, preparation is good, mis- and dis-information are bad. Our national and international focus needs to be on confronting the virus itself, grieving for the dead, and repairing the damage being done by fear of the virus. Individuals and households must focus on living like Biblical pharisees for whom social distancing and ritual washing were absolutes. But, still, in the quiet of various forms of quarantine, the mind can wander and wonder: What might we learn from this experience? READ MORE
The Value of Gathering Together
The Rev. J. Randolph Alexander, Rector
March 17, 2020
As any of the folks who sing in our choirs or serve as acolytes know, we gather before our services for a prayer. I often say something in those prayers along the lines of “thank you, Lord God, for the privilege of gathering today as your people.” I really mean that prayer, but it is easy to take that gathering for granted, and for the prayer to become almost perfunctory.
I don’t think I will ever take the privilege of gathering together for granted again, whenever we emerge from this pandemic and the social distancing it has required. READ MORE
Earth Day: Creation Alliteration
A Reflection by Eileen Monnin-Kirby
April 22, 2020
Astounding, alluring, amorphous atmosphere
Luminous, lingering, layered light
Dreamy, divine, deep dark
Sweeping, stratus, sublime, slate-blue sky
Colorful, cumulus, curious clouds
Jeannie Cummins Eisenhour
April 7, 2020
The world stops turning
And reveals new creation
God's calm in the storm
A Reflection on this Lenten Fast of Eucharist
April 2, 2020
This time of not being able to share the Eucharist has made me aware of how it is that each time we share Mass and the Eucharist is a new experience. It's new because I am there, or another is there. It's unique - even though our liturgy is ancient and celebrated over and over. It becomes new because, each time, my presence - I - make it new as we celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ, and my faith is renewed each time. This Lenten Fast of Eucharist has made me more deeply aware of the present, of each moment, and how, when can share again together in the Body and Blood Christ, it will be an especially joyful Easter as He is Risen, and we Rise with Him.
Amen. FULL REFLECTION
(Katja Shimkin is sheltering in place in Seville, Spain after having had to flee her university.)
A Song of Solidarity
March 14, 2020
I hear the soft whisper of rain outside my window. Rain? It hasn’t rained since December… It was 78 degrees and sunny a few hours ago… I’m in the desert…
The window is open and I stick my head and torso through to feel the cool drops on my face. But it isn’t rain. It's a voice. Or many voices. Hundreds, maybe thousands of voices. And they’re not whispering but raising up, crying out, shouting down to the street and up to the sky and out to the world. READ MORE
A Meditation for St. Patrick's Day
The Rev. Susan Parsons
March 17, 2020
Dearly beloved, Randy, Jane and I wanted to send out a short meditation every other day or so to all of you.
Since today is St. Patrick's Day, and most of us, for the most part, are not celebrating the way we wish we could, you'll find below a short biography of St. Patrick as well as an extraordinarily long hymn that people tend to either love or hate. If you wish, you may write me with your vote, and we can decide whether to sing it sometime or not.
We'll begin with the collect for St. Patrick, noting how appropriate it is for this moment in our lives:
"Almighty God, who in your providence chose your servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of you: Grant us so to walk in that way that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever." READ MORE