Dear Holy Cross Family and Friends,
Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
It goes without saying that we’re in a strange time in our common life. And although what’s going on is unique to our experience, I was reminded last week that as unique as our situation is, the scripture holds true, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) As it turns out during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, churches and public venues were similarly closed, even in the Upstate NY area. Unlike our forebearers, though, we have several important advantages. First, we have a better understanding of disease and how it spreads. And secondly, we have means technological means to overcome the distance and isolation which slowing the community spread of infection requires.
I am reminded of a favorite word of our dear friend the late Jane LeCount. In her last years, every time I would visit with her, she would always remind me of the word “connections.” She’d remind us that we’re all connected in some way. In this time of our “quarantine,” it’s important for us to stay connected. From the telephone to Facebook, from email to Skype, we’ve got plenty of ways to keep those connections open. I want to encourage you to keep making those all-important connections with your friends, your family, and yes, your Holy Cross family! Keep the community of Holy Cross alive and well!
Community lies at the heart of the of our Christian faith and our life as the Church. And while this pandemic has taken away from us the ways in which we are normally formed as a community, I’ve been encouraged by those who have joined us in following our services online. There are even some folks who have created online accounts for the sole purpose of participating in the streaming services. Your presence, your comments, your likes and shares are an encouragement to me personally and I thank you for them. Please keep joining us for these online services, and do share the live stream and other posts from our Facebook page to your own page when you see them (by clicking share on the post), and invite your friends and family to like our church’s page. This will help others see what’s going on here. These little acts of evangelism are great ways to encourage others to join our community – even if it’s only online for right now. You never know what fruits God will bless us with down the road.
For those who don’t use Facebook, I am working on finding a way to stream the services to YouTube. You don’t need an account to watch videos on YouTube. Presently, I am doing my best to make sure the services we stream on Facebook are uploaded as a video on YouTube so you can watch later. Generally, it takes a few hours after the live service to get these up on the site. Also, if you haven’t already, head over to the Facebook and YouTube pages, like and subscribe to them and turn on the notifications so you know when we’re live or have uploaded a video.
While we can’t be together physically during this season, our spiritual communion will continue, as does the sacramental ministry of the Church. We continue to offer the Mass on a regular basis during which we pray for your needs and the needs of the parish. Mass will be streamed at 10 a.m. on Sunday and at noon on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Please don’t hesitate to call or email or text me your concern and intentions which we can pray for during this time. Also, during this time, the sacraments and pastoral care for the sick are still available. Please don’t hesitate to contact me about these needs if you know of them.
While we were hopeful that we might get back to normal in time for Holy Week and Easter, it’s clear now this won’t be the case. Our Bishop has extended the cancellation of public services until after Easter and this will probably be extended for a long period. While we can’t change the date of Easter, we will no doubt plan a big “back to church” Sunday when it happens and encourage people to attend in great numbers!
For now, our Holy Week Schedule of Streaming services will be as follows:
Palm Sunday – 10 a.m.
Tuesday & Wednesday – 12 p.m.
Maundy Thursday – 7:00 p.m.
Good Friday Liturgy – 12 p.m.
Holy Saturday Liturgy (Not the Easter Vigil) – 10 a.m.
Easter Day – 10 a.m.
Lastly, on behalf of the Vestry and Finance Committee, I want to ask you to be mindful of your financial contributions to Holy Cross. Even though our in person Sunday liturgies are on hold, our financial obligations are not. While Holy Cross does have a small endowment from which we could draw to cover some of our expenses, even this has taken a significant loss due to the drop in the stock market recently. The finance committee is working as I write to find ways to help make giving easier for everyone through online/electronic means. In the meantime, mailing your envelopes to the church is the best method. Your continued contributions during this time will ensure that we’re meeting our financial obligations as the come up now and not having to play catch up in the future. Thank you in advance for your support. I know for some people this crisis has also meant a loss of income and we are appreciative of any support you can give.
Our Revised Mass Schedule
Sunday Mornings- Holy Eucharist at 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday: Holy Eucharist at 12 noon
Watch Streaming videos at https://www.facebook.com/HolyCrossWarrensburg
Please Join us!
Sunday September 15
Mass offered at Noon (only Service offered this day)
Cook out picnic to follow
Bring something to share!
The Warren County Fish Hatchery
145 Echo Lake Road
Warrensburg, NY 12885
I’ve just about had it with winter. I walked out my door this morning and it was -1F. I was not amused. I am thankful, however, that with such a late start to Lent this year, there’s a good chance that Easter will be on a gloriously beautiful Spring morning in late April. Hope springs eternal, even in the little things in life.
With the start of our Lenten pilgrimage, comes the addition of a number of opportunities for us to join together as a parish family in Christ to grow deeper in our faith and devotion to the crucified and risen Lord.
This Sunday, March 10, 2019, Mass will be held at 9:00 a.m. Please plan to be there to welcome our Bishop, William Love, as the Celebrant and Homilist. Bishop Ignatius of Antioch wrote in around the year A.D. 107, “Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic [that is universal, whole, complete] Church.” This is Bishop Love’s triennial visit to the parish and I hope and pray and ask that everyone make every effort to join us this Sunday.
We have a number of other opportunities as well: This Friday (3/8) Stations of the Cross will be offered at 11:00 and 6:00 p.m. starting with a free soup meal. Starting Tuesday evening we’ll have start our new education program called “The New Testament You Never Knew ” by Michael Bird and N.T. Wright. This starts each Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. with a supper. Everyone is invited to attend!
I wish you all a fruitful, blessed, and holy Lent,
There’s an anecdote told in a biography of Saint Teresa of Avila, which goes something like this: St Teresa and some companions were crossing a river when Teresa lost her footing in the swift water. “Oh, my Lord!” [Teresa] exclaimed, with her usual loving familiarity, “when wilt Thou cease from scattering obstacles in our path?” “Do not complain, daughter,” the Divine Master answered, “for it is ever thus that I treat My friends.” “Ah, Lord, it is also on that account that Thou hast so few!” was her reply. This little story came to my mind as I thought about all the winter weather hitting us on days with scheduled Masses and events. Although there is a slight chance of snow showers, hopefully, things will calm down for the weekend.
Due to the storm, we had to cancel the planned Memorial Service for John Brosseau. We have rescheduled this service with a potluck supper for Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Please plan on joining us that evening, which is also the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, commonly called Candlemas.
A Requiem Mass for Caroline Langworthy who died on January 6 is being planned. We’ll let you know more once we’ve set a date.
The Finance Committee will meet on February 1st at 4:30 p.m.
The February Vestry Meeting date has been changed to February 13 (Wednesday) at 7:00 p.m. Healing Mass on that day will be held at 6:00 p.m.
The roads sound like they’re pretty slippery today, so please use caution.
I hope I get to see you all on Sunday!
Reminder that due to Garage Sale Weekend, we will have only one Mass on Sunday 30 September at 8:00 a.m.
Fr. Pettigrew’s Sermon for Sunday on James 3:13-4:3
During the season of Lent, we’ve been meditating on some descriptions of our Lord which we find in the Stations of the Cross – each of which invites us to behold – to put before our hearts and minds – some aspect of Jesus in his life and work: We have thought about Jesus as the Lord of Justice and the Lord of Beauty; the Lord of all Creation and the Lord of heaven; and today, we are invited to put before our eyes of our hearts and minds Jesus the Lord of Life and Love.
And that is what today is all about – it is about a loving God who comes to us in the darkness of our sin to make us new and to give us light and life.
That is God’s gift to you and to me – love and life. And there is nothing we need more in our own lives and our own relationships than God’s love and God’s life.
The story of Scripture is the story of our need for that life and love:
The Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden shows humanity walking apart from their creator – showing that at its worst, humanity will choose itself. The story of Noah and the Flood showed that as things got worse and worse, God still wanted to restore us to our rightful relationship to himself, but that simply getting rid of those rotten apples in creation wouldn’t avail us for our salvation – something more had to be done. Sin and evil would still find a way into the world – death still reigned over God’s beloved creation.
But then, with the Call of Abraham and God’s covenant with him began the long story of God’s eternal plan to save us from sin and death.
God promised Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars in heaven and as innumerable as the grains of sand on the seashore. And though Abraham had faith that God would fulfill his promises, when God told him that he would in his old age finally have a son – Abraham and his wife Sarah laughed at the thought – and so they named him “Isaac” – which means – he laughed. I like that little touch – right from the start of our creation – faith is joined with laughter – joy lies at the heart of our new life in God!
The story of God’s redemption is a long one. Slavery in Egypt, rebellion while wandering in the desert for forty years, the giving of the Law of Moses, entrance to the promised land, the creation of the monarchy, the building of the first temple, exile from their homeland in Babylon, the restoration of the temple. Everything that happened to God’s people would be a foreshadowing of the great things to come.
But Scripture not only tells us of God’s great and powerful acts from the beginning, it also reflects back to us our own need of his grace in order to live and love in this world. Human history is filled with people striving to fill themselves with life and love. But we end up filling ourselves instead with worthless things like power, fame, wealth possessions, relationships, people, drugs, money, – you name it – anything that might serve as a cheap replacement, a cheap imitation of true life and true love.
Easter tells us that we no longer need to accept a cheap imitation – we no longer need to look to “things” to fill us and to try to satisfy our every need. Instead, we look to Jesus, for he is the one who said “I am the bread of life”; he is the one who said, “If anyone thirst come to me and drink.”
Christ has risen from the dead – trampling down death – no merely of the body – but of our emptiness.
And I think that is where my thoughts are centered this Easter – that through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we find we are filled with life and love – we are made fully alive – not as some promise of the distant future, and not merely of our bodies in eternity; but even here and now, in the very depth and core of our being.
I would say “if we look around in the world we see many people seeking to fill their emptiness with cheap imitations”: but I don’t think we have to look out into the world. I think we need only to look into our own hearts to find that we, the redeemed people of God – still possess in our own lives, our own hearts those empty places of longing, of pain, of anguish – places within us that are dead – places we put on artificial life support by feeding them with cheap imitations even though an innumerable abundance of God’s grace is offered to us – made available in Christ by the power of his resurrection!
Too often, in our weakness to sin, our unwillingness to give our selves fully to God, we accept those cheap imitations when the Lord of Life and Love stands waiting to give us the real thing.
And all we need to do to receive it is nothing more than to Behold the Lord of Life and Love; the Lord of Justice and Beauty, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, and like Abraham – trust in God’s faithfulness that he will give us more than we could ask or imagine.
For when we trust in God, he will touch our hearts, he will transform our minds, and he will give us the grace to live in his life and love. We need not fear nor be afraid – for he has done the work of our salvation for us because we could never do it ourselves.
And that faith is joined with laughter, as we rejoice to behold the Lord of Life and Love – for he has given his life in love fully and completely to us so that we might have his life in us that we might dwell and abide in his love forever.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Schedule for the Triduum Sacrum
Maundy Thursday – March 29
7:00 p.m. Eucharist
8 p.m. until Midnight – The Watch at the Altar of Repose
March 30 – Good Friday
Solemn Afternoon Liturgy – 12:00 p.m.
March 31 – Easter Even
Easter Vigil and First Mass of Easter – 8:00 p.m.
April 1 – Easter Day
Parish Family Mass 9:00 a.m.
A light Parish Brunch and Easter Egg Hunt to follow in the Parish Hall!
This Weekend is the World’s Largest Garage Sale in Warrensburg!
- Saturday September 30th – Noon until ? – Soup Sale
- Helpers needed in the morning to help set up!
- Sunday, October 1st – 8:00 a.m. – Said Eucharist
(This is the only service today!)