Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As I write this update to share with you all I am reminded of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians which is the second reading of this coming weekend where he encourages us: “Live as children of the Light.” Eph 5:9 I know these days are filled with anxiety and mystery. I want to encourage us all, to step into each moment, with faith in God who is Emmanuel–God with us, and with hope, in a future yet unseen, but which we can create together as we live as Children of the Light.
Saint Anne’s in conjunction with the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota has made the decision after interpreting the guidance of the CDC to suspend all gatherings of 10 or more people inside the Church until at least May 10th. While this news may be shocking and disconcerting, I hope that we can see it is also filled with possibilities and hope. In my position at the Prison, I am in a daily briefing with the CDC, the MNDOH, and input from WHO as well as other local experts. I am also working closely with the Chair and Co Chair of the Circle of Servant Leaders and the Vestry and leadership of Saint Anne’s Church. I support this position at the present time, as it seems to be in the best interest of us all to preserve the health and safety of us all, so that we can continue to be the Light of Christ in the world.
I realize this means there will be many questions about how we live into the future, and I assure you that the Circle of Servant Leaders and your Pastoral Team are communicating daily about how we support and care for each other in the journey. We are working at exploring different ways to continue to share the Good News and to continue to build community with each other. While we do not have specifics at this moment, please know we will be sending out updates and opportunities on a consistent basis. Several folks have asked about their donations…if you support the community by check, please feel free to send them to the Church. We will be stopping by weekly to check mail and do the deposits, etc. The address is 2035 Charlton Road, Sunfish Lake, MN 55118. You can also download the online donation form and send it in if you would like to consider electronic giving. The form is available on our website: www.spiritofhopemn.org .
Please continue to lift in prayer all those who are suffering from this Covid19 virus and their families and friends. Also pray for all the people who are suffering the economic fall out from the actions we must take in order to preserve our health and life. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to myself or Rev. Colleen and we will try to assist as much as possible. Our emails are below for your convenience. I would also ask for your prayers for the members of the Circle of Servant Leaders, and Rev. Colleen and myself as we strive to be and live as courageous, compassionate leaders in this unprecedented time in history. In God’s Abundant Love, I remain,
Bishop Marty Shanahan