Holy Week and etc.
Updated: Apr 14, 2021
My dear parishioners and friends of Saint John’s,
As we approach that most holy time of the year, when we, with the disciples and the crowds and soldiers, once again enter in to the events and meaning of Our Lord’s last days in his earthly life, I write to update you of some wonderful things for our parish and our life together, and also to ask for your help.
I began as your priest-in-charge on October 1, 2020. What a year that was! Since that time, we have continued our regular round of worship, especially our annual All Soul’s Day Requiem Mass, and the full round of masses during Christmastide, including all three of the traditional masses – Vigil, Dawn, and Day – of Christmas Day. We’ve added a regular weekday mass on Thursday evenings as well. All of our public services continue to be livestreamed on our Facebook page, for which you do not need a Facebook account – just search for “Saint John’s in Passaic Facebook” and you should go right to our page. I hope you have been able to join in our worship, as we continue to proclaim the Good News in the beauty of holiness as best as we can.
Some of our folks prefer not to use Facebook, and so we’ve also established our own YouTube channel. Just go to YouTube and again search on “Saint John’s Passaic” to see our Sunday and other major services. In order to get our own clear YouTube address, we need 100 subscribers. I hope you will consider subscribing, so we can! We’ve added an Instagram account and are considering easy ways to open and maintain a Twitter account as well. We have also relaunched our website at www.sjcpassaic.org , and we’ll continue to add content to it over time. In the 21st Century, we have to be all things to all people, or least attempt to reach them as best we can. As we have seen, open physical doors are not enough anymore.
Alas, because of the Covid pandemic, we are still closed for in-person worship. All of our worship leaders right now are in very small bubbles and we continue to limit who may attend. No one who is not actively participating is allowed to be present or even in the building. We regret deeply that we have to continue to enforce these limits, but as of this writing the new cases for Passaic County as well as New Jersey as a whole are actually going up, not down. We had hoped to be able to perhaps open on Easter Day, but that does not look possible right now. We are now thinking about Pentecost, which is on May 23 this year. It’s our hope that enough vaccinations will have occurred, along with continued vigilance with masks and distancing, that the pandemic will have waned enough so that we can open then. We shall continue to hope and pray!
And now I need your help. Neither I, nor the Wardens, nor the Vestry, can be the parish of Saint John’s alone. We need all of you – all of us. And so I am asking for your help in the following ways:
Please join us for Holy Week and Easter Week however you can. Worship is our principal reason for being. Enclosed is a full schedule of our services that you can put up on your refrigerator or next to your computer. You won’t regret it, I guarantee it!
If you have not already done so, please send us your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Paper mailings are expensive, and we want to improve our stewardship of the earth and parish resources by using email and social media as much as possible for ongoing communication.
If you have accounts in any of these social media sites, please Like or Subscribe or Follow our account too. The more members we have, the more we can reach other people with the Good News. (If you are receiving this via email, just click the links below)
Because our Thrift Shop, on which we depend for almost a quarter of our income, cannot yet re-open, we are still facing a deep income loss. I ask you to consider tithing – ten per cent – of your pandemic relief payments to the parish, and to make a special Holy Week or Easter donation as well. We’ve enclosed stamped envelope for you to use, or you can also donate securely online at: https://www.sjcpassaic.org/donate.
Finally, and right now most importantly: the single best way to ensure we can re-open is to get vaccinated. I ask and encourage you to do so as soon as you are able. It is safe to do so. With God’s help and our continued vigilance, we can get past this pandemic and move forward to what God has in store for us next.
It is my great hope that we can be together in person soon. Until that time, please know of my own prayers for all of you and your families and friends. Please continue to be safe, wear your mask, keep six feet apart, and get vaccinated. And as we enter into Holy Week, let us pray:
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
May your Holy Week and Easter be a time of blessing and of joy.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
(The Rev.) Robert F. Solon, Jr.