by Father Richard Sorfleet, St. John the Evangelist Mission, Renfrew ON Canada
Friday May 22, the President of the United States called for churches to reopen starting this weekend. The Associated Press (AP) report states:
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that he has deemed churches and other houses of worship “essential” and called on governors across the country to allow them to reopen this weekend, even as some parts of the nation remain under coronavirus lockdown.
“Today I’m identifying houses of worship — churches, synagogues and mosques — as essential places that provide essential services,” Trump said during a hastily arranged press conference at the White House.
Despite the threat of further spreading the virus. Trump said that, “governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend.” And he warned that if governors don’t abide by his request, he will “override” them...
The definition of what constitutes an 'essential service' in an epidemic has been that from the health perpective of the minimum necessary activities to ensure that society continues to function.
Throughout the Covid 19 crisis the evangelical Right has either pressured for relaxation or exemption from State health regulations or simply flouted them with at times deadly consequences. It is shameful that these groups cannot understand their own theology's definition of what constitutes the Church.
We believe and confess
one single catholic or universal church--
a holy congregation and gathering
of true Christian believers,
awaiting their entire salvation in Jesus Christ,
being washed by his blood,
and sanctified and sealed by the Holy Spirit....
his holy church
is not confined,
or limited to a certain place or certain people.
But it is spread and dispersed
throughout the entire world,
though still joined and united
in heart and will,
in one and the same Spirit,
by the power of faith
Article 27, Belgic Confession 1561
Instead of being a source of spiritual comfort and credible information, some wish to use the church to further their own temporal ends.
A recommended source of spiritual comfort during this trying time is reading the Book of the Prophet Job.
One of the key Easter season Gospel readings is from John 16.
16 “A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.” 17 Some of His disciples then said to one another, “What is this thing He is telling us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is talking about.”
We will see each other again and this requires both patience and prudence; and understanding that The Church is the People of God gathered together in Jesus Christ; and not a building. the gathering IN a building will come.
Our blog offers information on our monthly liturgical services, special events, news, and donation requests for our church and missions. It will also contain homilies for reading or printing.