St. Matthew’s family, near and far,
It was a year ago this week that the Corona Virus was just a rumor, if that, and we were gathering in the upper room of the Old Bag of Nails Pub. It was a time of planning for a growing year both in mission and spirituality for St. Matthew’s. Little did we know of the odyssey of heart ache, sickness, racist violence, and political upheaval that would be woven into a year of our collective lives and our church.
- We honor those who have been affected and infected with the virus along with those who grieve the loss of loved ones.
- We honor siblings of color who have been murdered and maimed by white individuals and a racist system especially of this past year, from George Floyd through countless other names up to Casey Goodson who was killed as he was entering his home in Columbus in December.
- We honor those who have been, and will be, economically affected by the virus: those who will face hunger, poverty, loss of housing, and countless other effects.
- We honor our children, families, and educators who have had to adapt to in-home schooling, and other adjustments for staying at home to work.
- We honor all those who are facing the mental and emotional toll that this past year has taken on those most vulnerable: our older adults, children, and adults at risk to be abused by others, those who are facing illness and surgeries alone in hospitals, family and friends who are unable to be with the dying, and those who have died.
- We honor the front-line workers who sacrifice so much: our healthcare workers, our first responders, our grocery works and servers.
- We honor each of you, as you have journeyed together and have done well to keep the faith and support the cause of Christ in difficult times.
- Above all, we honor the Love of our God of justice, hope, and peace.
All this being said, we are a resilient people and we have made it this far. God will not abandon us, we will not abandon each other, and we will not abandon our neighbors. I want to celebrate our creative, adaptive, and resilient church community, evident in so many ways both virtually and in person. From our vestry, to our worship leadership, to our staff, to each and every one of you, both near and far, I believe that the world needs God and our mission of love for all. In this, I say thank you: Thank you for keeping the faith in 2020; we are stronger together. As we enter 2021, we will seek a more focused sense of community and mission than ever before. I invite all of us to a deeper worship and prayer life, as we discover the gift from God that we truly are. In that discovery, may you share your gift with all those whom you encounter and celebrate as we all work together to spread the Love of God with the world.
Looking forward to what God has in store for us in 2021,
Father Joseph Kovitch