A message from Rev. Schroeder about COVID-19
March 17, 2020
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head. I cry aloud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep, I wake again, for the Lord sustains me. Psalm 3:3-5
Dear Beloved of Christ,
Throughout the Biblical and historical narrative, we have seen God’s people endure times of hardship and uncertainty. During these times – whether through Job’s tribulations, the suffering of Paul, or the plagues and diseases throughout the ages – God has cared for and sustained us. God’s care comes through faith strengthened as Job’s faith was strengthened, acts of mercy such as those given to Paul, and continued comfort as God surrounds all who suffer from illness. God promises to shield us, to answers us from his Holy Hill, and to sustain us.
And so, although we are living through unprecedented and uncertain times, we are certain that God is with us, guiding us, caring for us, giving us strength. It is through our prayers and care for one another that our faith is strengthened, and we experience God’s grace and mercy. It is my hope that you know that not only is God with you, but that I am praying for you. Likewise, your community of St. Alban’s is also praying for you and is ready to offer support of any kind during these upcoming weeks. We are here for you!
Last Friday I sent a letter to our church family via email. In that letter I outlined our plan for worship on Sunday and ways to be safe. It came to my attention that not everyone saw the letter. Thus, I am contacting you by both means: email and snail mail.
Since Friday, and as expected, many things have changed. The first and foremost Bishop John Taylor’s directive suspending all in-person worship in the Diocese of Los Angeles at least through Easter Day, April 12. This directive extends a restriction to all on-campus meetings, Bible studies, fellowship meals, and other activities.
Thus, for (at least) the next three Sundays I will livestream Morning Prayer with a short meditation. You will be able to access this livestream on the Facebook St. Alban’s page or via a link on or our website during our normal worship hours.
Additionally, I will be offering Compline through livestream Tuesdays and Thursdays starting next Tuesday, March 24 at 7:30 pm. Like Morning Prayer, you can participate in this service by going directly to our Facebook page, or via a link to Compline on our website. I will also post PDF copies of Morning Prayer and Compline, and the readings for each Sunday so you can read along.
Because we are restricted to all on-campus meetings I am canceling any activities and meetings at St. Alban’s with the exception of NA. Finance Committee and Bishop’s Committee will still meet via GoToMeeting or another meeting application. I know that you all will understand this need for caution. I appreciate your flexibility and understanding.
Since this situation is fluid, I urge you to check your email regularly for new and updated information. It is important that we stay in communication throughout this time and email is the most expedient way to do so.
Also, I want to reiterate what I wrote in my last letter. If you are unwell, need to self-isolate, or in need of food, supplies, or any necessities (including toilet paper!) please notify me immediately. Your community is here for you and we will do our best to care for one another.
Finally, one last thought. This outbreak is happening during Lent. Perhaps this is also an opportunity to meditate on how these two things relate to one another. We can view this time as a movement towards Easter where when these uncertain times come to a close, we will experience a resurrection of sorts. Perhaps, it’s not coincidence that this is happening during lent. Perhaps, we are meant to see resurrection in a new light.
I wish you good health and God’s blessings.
The Rev. Cecelia C Schroeder
Priest-in-Charge, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church