Greetings and Happy Easter! This past Lenten season has been a special one for all of us as this pandemic has compelled us to experience change and suffering in a new way. Our inability to gather as a community and celebrate the Sacraments, the lifestyle changes that have been required of many of us, in addition to enduring sickness, financial hardships and other adversities—all of these have allowed us to experience Christ’s suffering and death on the cross in a whole new way. Enduring these hardships also gives us hope that there is Resurrection. It also signifies that suffering is only temporary, and that God has not abandoned us. It shows us that God has conquered death and opened up for us the way to eternal life. At the last supper, Jesus tells us, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:3). This is the hope that is provided through the Resurrection, this knowledge that if we die with Christ, we shall also rise with Him.
Throughout this past week, I have received many comments and positive feedback about the videos and other resources that we have been providing. I want to thank the staff and all who were involved in making this happen. It is quite inspiring for me to see how people have stepped up during these difficult times. What a testament to the phrase “Body of Christ.” The church with a lowercase “c” represents a building, but when replaced with an uppercase “C,” it represents all of us as individuals who come together to do the work of the Lord. This provides hope that the Church will continue to live on, just as we have been doing for over two thousand years, all because we as individuals use the unique gifts entrusted to us for the sake of God’s kingdom.
Many of you have continued to give generously during these times, either in person, through the mail, or through our online giving. The parish staff and I wish to thank you so very much! As you know, despite the current shut down of the state, we have ongoing expenses in the parish. The parish needs to continue paying its staff, utilities, and other operating costs. I appreciate your understanding. The work that the staff and I are doing to remain connected and help the community to grow spiritually must also continue. In order to assist us to continue to maintain these activities, I encourage you to continue to support the parish. Supporting our parish regularly and without the use of offertory envelopes, online e-giving is available and is an excellent option. I also encourage those who can to contribute a little more than they normally would so that we can sustain our operating costs.
Please know that we are doing everything possible to help our community. We are constantly updating our website and providing resources to help you remain faith-filled during this time. Therefore, I encourage you to continue to check our website at santasophia.org and check out the various resources that are available. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers; stay safe and healthy.
May the Risen Lord bless you, your homes and families.