April 5, 2020 virtual worship service
Blessing of the Palms
We are experiencing technical difficulties posting the Passion Reading.
Rev. Joseph Ngotho Sermon part 1
Rev. Joseph Ngotho Sermon part 2
April 5, 2020
Blessed Palm Sunday to you
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death–
even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8
This passage, which is always used on Palm Sunday, sums up for me the core of Holy Week as well as my understanding of Jesus. The strength of his love, of God’s love, was to empty himself and be born in human likeness. God allowed the world to do its worse to Jesus for me and for you.
Jesus’s strength to live out his life on earth awes me. It also puts in context and strengthens me any time I try to live in love. This is what we are being urged to do right now, live out God’s love by isolating ourselves. Yes, part of it is for self-preservation, but for us who are feeling well, it is also being done to not unwittingly infect anyone else.
As we relive the highs and lows of Palm Sunday and Holy Week, I pray that we can identify with Jesus as we are sacrificing ourselves. I also pray that we do not forget those who are being crushed by this pandemic, those who are sick and dying, those who are hungry and afraid, those who are being crushed in isolation and fear.
We have many in our congregations and in our community who are medical care givers. We pray that they may be provided the safety equipment they need and the perseverance to care for those who are sick and vulnerable.
Meanwhile, we have produced a Palm Sunday service that will be posted on above. We have placed palms on the fence in front of the church. The palms are for the taking but we are also keeping palms to hand out as we are able to gather in church again. Thanks to Rev. Joseph Ngotho who preached on his first day back from a three month sabbatical. Also thanks to Chris Trahan, Pam Alleyne and Stephen Lapukas for participating in the service. Special thanks to Evan Collis-Puro who taped and edited the service.
In this coming week we will be posting Maundy Thursday and Good Friday prayers. You can also take advantage of Holy Week services that will be posted on the Diocesan website,
https://www.diomass.org/. For Easter Sunday we are invited to worship with Bishop Gates as a whole diocese. I will also be providing prayers and a reflection but the main Easter service with be the diocesan Easter celebration.
The St. Stephen’s Food Pantry will be open on Friday, April 10th. We will need volunteers to help on Thursday to unload the delivery truck and set up the bags and on Friday for the distribution. Please contact me if you can help. We do need help but not too many so we can keep appropriate social distancing.
Blessings and peace to you all.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for any reason. Tom
The Rev. E. Tom Barrington, Jr
St. Stephen’s Memorial Episcopal Church 74 S. Common St., Lynn, MA 01902 Cell: 978-394-3159
Blessings and Stay Safe.
Cell Phone: 978-394-3159
Palm Sunday at St. Stephen’s
Palms for the taking
St. Stephen’s is an open and affirming Christian church worshiping in the Anglican tradition. Crossing lines of color, class, culture and generation, we seek transformation of our lives and our community through Christ’s Gospel of love, compassion and justice.
The Rev. Tom Barrington – Interim Priest
The Rev. Joseph Ngotho – Kiswahili Pastor