This week's news from the Mayor and Governor with renewed restriction was difficult to hear. These measures affect everyone, but our prayers especially go out to owners and staff in the service industry who are struggling for their livelihoods, while trying to do the right thing. Most of us are feeling anxious. Some are angry at those who are not practicing social distancing or wearing masks consistently when in public. We need everyone to do their part for sure. But I think it is important to remember that even if everyone followed every rule, this virus would still be with us. There would be fewer cases and fewer deaths, but we would still not be "back to normal.” Science still has much more to learn about this virus in order to provide us with a path "back to normal."
In the meantime, we are going to have to practice patience. I know. New Orleanians are only patient for one thing: a Mardi Gras parade. We will sit for hours waiting for one to come. But we don’t sit there moping, angry, and depressed. We wait in a spirit of community and connection with our family, friends and neighbors. Maybe that could be our inspiration as we anticipate the return of a time when we can again celebrate festivals, sit down in our favorite restaurants and bars, and sing together in the pews of our church. We can use this time of waiting to be creative about how we congregate and connect.
We continue to be one church, but for now, we need to think about being one church made up of many small groups. Almost anything we would be doing in larger numbers can be adapted to a small group format -- learning, praying, serving others, and having fun. Small groups can more easily follow public health guidelines, and can be formed around particular safety concerns and needs. One group may be comfortable meeting in person on a front porch or backyard to watch a Sunday morning service together. Another may need to stay in touch through a text thread or zoom meeting. Some could organize ministry projects that could be carried out in person or remotely. I know we have the imagination to make this work, but it will take everyone’s active participation. This is an invitation for you to organize with others. As our mission instructs us, showing up for God, and for each other.
If you need an ear to bend because life has been stressful, please call me anytime at 504-357-8211. In the meantime, we don’t have to wait for “back to normal” to resume living out our mission. Come on friends. We miss each other. Let’s figure this out.
July News for Mount Olivet
EVENING PRAYER at 4pm followed by HALF-CAFF begins This Sunday, July 5
Beginning this Sunday, July 5, we will return to each parish hosting a weekly service. Mount Olivet will host a service of Evening Prayer on Sundays at 4pm. It will be a Book of Common Prayer service with organ music. You will need a Book of Common Prayer or access a PDF copy of Evening Prayer on our website. You can stream the service on our new YouTube channel, Mount Olivet Episcopal Church (Algiers Point), and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/MountOlivetAlgiersPoint. You can also listen to the service over the telephone by calling 504-509-4650 at 4pm. This service will be held online until it is safe to return to in-person worship. As we are sister parishes, parishioners are welcome to attend either the 10am service hosted by Annunciation or the 4pm service hosted by Mount Olivet.
HALF-CAFF Coffee Hour
Following the 4pm service, there will be coffee hour hosted by Mount Olivet. Join coffee hour on Zoom. Message Rev. Duane for the log-in information.
NEW BOOK STUDY - Thursday, July 9 and 23
A new small group will be looking at God’s call to racial reconciliation this summer, using the book, Be the Bridge, by Latasha Morrison, as a guide. It will meet every other Thursday on Zoom from 6:30-8pm. The e-book is available from Amazon (smile.amazon.com/ch/72-0508566 will benefit the Church of the Annunciation Episcopal Foundation), you can order a hard copy from your preferred bookseller (Community Book Center is a Black-owned bookstore here in New Orleans), or from Christbooks.com. The July 01 group will begin by looking at the sample excerpt that is free on Amazon. We begin gathering at 6:30 for social time, and the discussion will begin at 7, concluding at 8. Join us with an open heart and mind!
This Friday, July 3 and July 17, 6:30-8 pm, Third Thirty will explore “Being Parents to your Parents.” Have you taken on more of a parental role as your parents aged? Can we envision ourselves letting our children do more and more for us as we age? Join us to discuss the challenges and reluctances of parents to allow their children to be more involved in their lives.
Mount Olivet Episcopal Church is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
MOUNT OLIVET PARENTS GROUP
Parents are invited to gather on Zoom together Friday, July 3 and July 17, from 8-9:30pm. Join by Zoom.
CHILDREN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL
Valeria Emmet will be bringing Sunday School online to our children soon. Please contact Valeria Emmett if you are interested.