I am grateful

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Blessed Feast! Christ is in our midst! I send love and greetings to all of you!

The Paschal Season has ended with the celebration of the beautiful Service for the Leave-Taking of Pascha. The Feast of Ascension is here with the Feast of Pentecost not far behind. This is a glorious time of year for Orthodox Christians. The pandemic may have changed how we celebrate and yet the spirit of the Season is not dimmed. Why we celebrate remains our one and only constant.

God is with us now and forever, in good and bad, in joy and sadness, in life and in death.

I want to take this opportunity to give thanks to God and to all of you. I look out and see a strong parish filled with love and devotion.

Those who have continued to serve along with me have rendered an invaluable service to our community, and the prayers and constant support from all who have sheltered at home and kept vigil by internet and prayers have made us a more cohesive community. Whether in the physical church building or out of it, we are not and can never be separated from one another. The Virtual Choir’s rendition of “The Angel Cried” put an exclamation point on this for me. Our thanks to all of you keeping the faith in these difficult times.

During this crisis we have lost only one, the wonderful and dearly loved Bill Warfield. Not to COVID-19, but to a long illness. However, the death of any human being is always a loss for all of us. 101,000 Americans have died because of the virus and so many others around the world. Two other deaths of note are those who lost their lives due to racial violence, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. So much of this anguish was avoidable. But a death is a death and a tragedy for us all. Our prayers are offered not only for ourselves, but for the entire world. May their memories be eternal.

With deep affection and gratitude,

Fr. Antony Hughes