Dear Friends,

As change at St. Monica’s is afoot, I want to keep you abreast of significant happenings in our life together. Please take you time to read it all and let me know if you have any questions or concerns or praises.

This Sunday at 10am, we will have a pet blessing. This is the Sunday before St. Francis’ feast day. It will be a normal liturgy, but not a normal congregation, as our pets will come along with us. However, no communion will be administered to our animals. (Yes, I have been asked about that before!)

Ministry with children will begin to take shape at St. Monica’s once again. Beginning October 17, we will begin Sunday School. The class will begin at 9:30am and the children will join the congregation before the passing of the peace. On the Second Sunday of each month, beginning October 10, the children are invited to be in church for the whole service. These Second Sunday services will be oriented toward children – this means it will include a children’s sermon (with a few points for consideration for adults), simpler music, and some instruction with the liturgy. For the Saturday service, the Social Hour will take place on the second Sunday, once the covid numbers decrease substantially.

You may have noticed changes with the Prayers of the People. There are seven forms of Prayers of the People in the Book of Common Prayer. These forms are models and can be altered as long as they meet the requirements as described on page 383 of the Book of Common Prayer (I’m in the weeds, I know). Only one of these prayer forms asks us to pray for politicians by name. For several reasons, we will not name specific politicians in the Prayers of the People except for extraordinary circumstances. If you want a fuller explanation, I’ll be glad to chat with you about it, there’s just so much to write already for this week.

We have started a modified Coffee Hour after the 10am service. We noticed how many congregate after church, so a few members of the vestry decided to arrange coffee for outside. So, just outside of the West entrance of the church in the covered area (behind where the choir sings), we feel free to enjoy some coffee and conversation with friends, both new and old.

Lastly, please be sure to welcome people that are new. If you find yourself unsure of whether you have met them or not, go ahead and introduce yourself. If it turns out that you already have met, just blame it on the masks we are all wearing. In turn, show grace to those who aren’t so good with names during such challenging times.

Peace and grace,
Fr. Jonathan