The following letter was sent to the People of the Advocate by Priest Associate Nathan Kirkpatrick on Saturday, March 14, 2020.
Dear People of the Advocate –
I hope this finds you well.
As Lisa and I said in the video on Facebook yesterday, we are transitioning our worship services online for the coming weeks. Tomorrow morning, we will gather online at 10 a.m. for Morning Prayer with a homily offered by Marisa Sifontes, our beloved former intern. (If you are not familiar with the liturgy, you can read it here.) We will be using Zoom, and when the time comes to join us in prayer, you can follow this link. If you have never used Zoom before, you will want to log on a few minutes early to make sure that you have the software you need on your computer. If you have trouble with Zoom, their Help Center is actually that – helpful. Also, if you misplace this email, the link will be posted online, too.
Tomorrow evening at 8 p.m., we will be gathering by Facebook Live for Compline. Personally, I think Compline is the most beautiful liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer. It is a perfect way to end a day and to pray for peace through the night hours. If you aren’t familiar with Compline, you can read it here. Dan LaVenture will be leading us. Facebook Live is less participatory than Zoom, so we will not get to see one another, but we can pray together nonetheless.
In the days ahead, all church events remain canceled. That said, please know that the Advocate Chapel is – and will remain – open for individual prayer, meditation and reflection from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily. You are also invited to pray the Stations of the Cross around the Advocate pond.
We are committed to finding creative ways of nurturing our community besides Sunday prayer, as important as that is. As you have ideas, please do not hesitate to be in touch with me. In the meantime, though, let me encourage you to access the Advocate directory and reach out to one another. Let’s text each other, call each other, or send a quick email just to say “I’m thinking of you.” Reach out to the people who usually share your row on Sunday morning. Reach out to the person in book group or dinner group or altar guild with you. Reach out to that family whose kids always make you smile. Reach out to the person whose quiet presence gives you comfort or whose prayers always break your heart. Now more than ever, let’s keep on caring for each other.
As fragile and fraught as this time may feel, communities like the Advocate offer hope to the world that, though we are apart, we are never alone. I’m grateful to be part of the people of the Advocate with you.
See you on Zoom in the morning.