Saint Peter's Episcopal Church . 121 Church St. Phoenixville, PA 19460 . (610) 933-2195

“New occasions teach new ideas.” A message from Fr. Sam.

Friends, I greet you in Christ’s love, holding each of you and your loved ones close and near in my thoughts and prayers as we face the uncertain times in which we find ourselves. In Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, he reminded those facing stress and persecution to “take our lead from Christ” such that “his very breath and blood flow through us.” That is our challenge in fearful times – not to act out of panic and fear but out of truth and love, the very essence of Christ.

In the words of the poet James Russell Lowell, “new occasions teach new duties.” I write this to talk about our church’s duty to care for the public health and the health of our church members. I will be referencing several temporary changes to our church’s routine considering the corona virus pandemic. Please know that as things change, we may have other new duties and changes required of us. In all things, may we seek to be true to our identity and calling as mission-minded Christians deeply committed to our community’s health and well-being

Now that the corona virus has come to our community and has begun to show not just person-to-person but community spread, the Diocese of Pennsylvania, CDC and our government has taken the appropriate action of encouraging large gatherings to cease, even calling for a temporary halt to our worship services. We have honored that request from the Health Department to safeguard our community’s and our congregants’ health.

We are blessed to have the resources to provide video of our worship services. We will be forwarding to you links of Daily Offices and a short homily/ encouragement for your Spiritual nourishment. You can also access our worship through the website. As of now all public gatherings are being temporarily banned. Our church’s worship life could continue on-line therefore, I invite you also to Dial in 425-436-6377 access code 236046 on Friday evening at 7:30pm for evening prayer and check in.

The vestry members, a few volunteers and myself will be calling you just to keep in touch and to see if there is something more we can do, we are also in discussion about other steps we could take to ensure that our congregation is well cared for and our mission to the community continue, particularly during such a difficult time. Of concern to us is how we would maintain the network of care that happens on Sunday mornings without those weekly gatherings. In addition, we are concerned that many individuals may be asked to self-quarantine for a period. That may not be a hardship for some, for those living paycheck-to-paycheck, that may seem impossible. How can we as a church provide support and advocacy for those people?

Our office remains open for now and when you can, please continue supporting the mission of the Church by honoring your Pledges and offerings, and thank you for your continuing support of our church as we seek to uphold and support our families and our communities in this challenging time.

Please do not hesitate to be in touch with me on 302 252-8152 and let me know how I can be of help to you or if you can help in any way. We are here to assist as we are able and can help you find the support you need, whether that comes from within our community or from without. Please remember that in coming to Church you are entering into a community of love and support and of a beauty that itself reflect the beauty and love of God.

Follow this link for this week’s prayer and encouragement

I love you all and i am praying for you.

Fr. Sam.