Easter Message from Fr. Justin

Posted on Mar 27, 2018

The Lord has risen!
A Blessed Easter to everyone.

As I write this, I am preparing the Sermons and Liturgies for Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Holy Week is always such an intense time in the liturgical year with ancient liturgies of Maundy Thursday’s footb washing and the institution of the Holy Eucharist, Good Friday’s three hour liturgy with its teachings, prayer periods, prostrations, and our rounding the church with the Stations of the Cross.

The ancient Good Friday liturgy, the predawn Easter Vigil…for those who can and do pray this liturgical prayer cycle, the experience can be truly life changing. It is especially wonderful that this year we kicked off Holy Week with Bishop Tom, who will be retiring as you will read here in the Keystone.

A note about this Spring. A rector becomes eligible for sabbatical in the 5 th year of tenure in a diocese. My own sabbatical became available last fall and though I do not plan to take the 122 days (four months), I am planning to take 40 days. This will be for me a time of more intense prayer training as well as a deeper foray into some more bodily meditative practices and other more subtle developments. I’m really looking forward to this short spell of training. I hope to begin this in the middle of May.

In the Vestry we have set up a sabbatical team for my time “in the cave” to have folks in place who will be able to deal with issues as they arise, and who will be able to liaison between the supply priests, the Diocesan office, as well as with our own Lay Ministers. The team includes Kay Trafton, Shirley Miller, Mary McGuinness, Mary Gerisch, David Wohlsen, and Nancy Bower. We will meet ahead of time to set up guidelines and basic protocols for the regular functions and irregular situations that come up in the church. This crew will be set to handle whatever arises and will be well connected with folks from our Mission District like Fr. John Mitchell of Zion Church Manchester, from the Diocesan offices like Canon Lynn Bates and of course Bishop Tom.

I will not be in strict seclusion but I will not be available to the parish or the diocese, except in certain emergencies. Please keep me in your prayers, you will all be in mine.