Love in the time of Coronavirus

9642EBAD-6C46-4D43-A4DB-85C411586C67

Mitakuyapi, we are living in strange and frightening times. The threat that has enveloped nearly the whole world – Coronavirus – is changing everything in our lives. Schools and work are shut down; unemployment has skyrocketed; and all of us are under threat from an unseen enemy that is sickening and killing thousands every day.

Because of the health risks, all of our churches on the Rosebud Episcopal Mission on the Rosebud Reservation here in South Dakota have suspended in-person worship and our regular programs, including GLORY, TeenGLORY, and confirmation classes, on both the East and West sides of the Rosebud Reservation. We are not doing baptisms at this time, or weddings.

We also have special rules now, worked out with Holmes Funeral Home and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, for funerals:

• We are recommending strongly that there be no public wakes. Any gathering must be limited to no more than 10 people, including the religious leader. If a family wants to have a wake, it should be done in the home, with only the family members present. If there are more than 10 family members, families will have to rotate people in and out of the room. Families need to make sure they have cleaning supplies and hand-washing facilities to ensure we do not unintentionally spread Coronavirus.

• Funerals should be conducted at the graveside. We can do the entire funeral liturgy at the cemetery. Again, only 10 people will be allowed to attend, including the religious leader. This means that each family will have to decide who can do the actual burial. If a family needs to have the Church provide workers to actually do the burial, we can arrange for that. Those workers would not be present at the funeral service; they will stay outside the cemetery and wait until the prayers are finished. The families can then go to their cars while the workers do the burial. Families can then return — with no more than 10 people — to decorate the grave. Please know that if families are not willing to follow these rules, we will not be able to do the services, and Holmes Funeral Home will not be able to help with the funeral.

• We are recommending strongly that there be no feasts at this time.

• We promise that once the danger has passed, we will be willing to do memorials, feasts, and giveaways as soon as families wish them to happen.

To reiterate, we are doing all of this because we love each other too much to possibly infect anyone with this disease. But … just because the physical churches are shut down does not mean that we are still Church – loving God and our neighbors as best we can as much as we can.

We want to do everything we possibly can to provide hope and love to the people. Many of us are volunteering to help deliver food, to say prayers, to contact those who are alone, to provide supplies when possible. We are striving to bring the Gifts of God to the People of God.

With this in mind, we have begun several new efforts to help all of us get through these hard times:

4D8CBD5E-CC08-4131-8603-354F23412E4C • Each weeknight at 9 p.m. Central, we are offering the service of Compline – nighttime prayers intended to bring us peace and help us rest. You can join us live on #REMLive on Facebook on the Rev. Dr. Lauren R. Stanley’s page (https/facebook.com/lauren.r.stanley.5). After the service is finished, it is posted on the Rosebud Episcopal Mission Facebook page, as well as on this web site, on the #REMLive page.

Each Sunday morning, we offer #REMLive Sunday morning worship at 8:30 a.m. Central on Mother Lauren’s page (see link above). Again, once the service is finished, it is posted on the Rosebud Episcopal Mission Facebook page, and on this website on the #REMLive page.

EAC98F5A-E81F-4F14-8B8F-6C5091D13B14     • As long as we are able, we are offering #ChurchOnTheGo at various locations, both on Sundays and throughout the week. On Sundays, you can come to Trinity Episcopal Church in Mission from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. to receive prayers and Communion. (We ask that you drive up in your car, and step out individually for this. We shall maintain #HolySpacing – 6 feet between us – and you will receive your communion bread in a safe manner. Once you have finished praying, please return to your car so that the next person may come forward.) We usually then offer Communion on Sundays from 1 – 2 p.m. at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Parmelee. For the other congregations and communities we serve, Mother Lauren will make arrangements with the members to bring communion to them.

• Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter: We will be blessing the palms on Palm Sunday at Trinity, Mission, and making them available to anyone who wants them that day and throughout the week. You can pick up the palms at #ChurchOnTheGo, or ask that they be brought to your house. We will attempt to do #REMLive services for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Great Vigil of Easter and Easter itself. Please watch Mother Lauren’s Facebook page and the Rosebud Episcopal Mission Facebook page for announcements on all of these services.

1C4C8EEB-CFFD-4A7B-9EE1-89CA854888A8     • Our #FirewoodfortheElders program is continuing through this time. Danny Gangone and Bruce Crow Eagle work every single day to find wood, cut it, haul it, split it, load it and deliver it to your houses. If you need firewood, please contact Mother Lauren at 605-828-3892. Again, we will continue this service as long as we can during this crisis.

• We are participating in the distribution of food from the Todd County School District to children on the Rosebud. Most of our volunteers drive the food to community centers; others help distribute it to their own communities.

• We are assisting elders all over the Rosebud, whenever possible with cleaning supplies. If you need cleaning supplies, contact Mother Lauren.

• We are assisting Buche Foods with its special program for elders and those who have health concerns, delivering the meals in Mission. Call Buches to place your order and pay for it, and one of us will deliver it to you.

There may be more that we are called to do, and we hope to be able to answer each call to the best of our abilities. We are here to serve. If you need us, call us.

Know that we are all in this together, even though we are separated by shelter-in-place and curfew rules. Know that we are not alone – that God is with us, and that God will help us through these hard times. Know that when the threat has passed, we will re-open our churches, and invite everyone to participate in the glorious celebration that will come.

Join us in keeping the faith, and in prayers for safety and health for all of God’s beloved children.

Mitakuye oyasin!

The Rosebud Episcopal Mission welcomes all of its relatives to its 11 Episcopal churches on tRosebud Episcopal Mission logohe Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

The Episcopal Church has served on the Rosebud since 1873, and serves all of the people here.

Our churches, under the leadership of The Rev. Dr. Lauren R. Stanley, are:

• Church of Jesus, Rosebud

•Trinity Church, Mission

•Holy Innocents, Parmelee

•Grace Chapel, Soldier Creek

•Tiwahe ed Wacikiyapi, Norris (a joint outreach of St. Paul’s, Norris, and St. Thomas, Corn Creek)

•St. Paul’s, Norris

•St. Thomas, Corn Creek

•St. Philip/St. James, White River, worshipping at St. James Chapel on the Bishop Hare Center.

Our churches, under the leadership of The Rev. Annie Henninger, are:

•All Saints, Milkscamp

•Calvary, Okreek

•Trinity, Winner

•Holy Spirit, Ideal

We welcome all of our relatives – all of God’s beloved people – to our services.

You may reach Mother Lauren at 605-828-3892.

You may reach Mother Annie at 605-835-8144.

Hallelujah anyhow!

An Easter message from The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church:

The Right Reverend Barbara Harris was the first woman ordained and consecrated a bishop in The Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion. In her memoir, entitled Hallelujah, Anyhow! [she] quotes an old Gospel hymn that says it this way:

Hallelujah anyhow

Never let your troubles get you down

When your troubles come your way

Hold your hands up high and say

Hallelujah anyhow!

When I get to Heaven, I want to meet one person, and her name is Mary Magdalene. Because if ever there was another Hallelujah, Anyhow sister, it was Mary Magdalene. And her life, and her example, tells us what it means to follow in the way of Jesus, in the Way of Love.

Mary Magdalene showed up when others would not. Mary Magdalene spoke up when others remained silent. Mary Magdalene stood up when others sat down.

John’s Gospel tells us that when many of the disciples fled and abandoned Jesus, Mary Magdalene stood by him at the cross. Hallelujah, Anyhow.

Against the odds, swimming against the current, Mary Magdalene was there.

John’s Gospel says in the 20th chapter, early in the morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene and some of the other women went to the tomb. Hallelujah, Anyhow.

They went to the tomb when it didn’t make any sense. They went to the tomb when the evidence was against them. Jesus was dead. They knew that. The power of the Empire had crushed the hope of love. They knew that. And they got up in the morning and went to the tomb anyhow. Hallelujah, Anyhow.

But more than that, John’s Gospel says it was dark. It was dark. That’s not just the time of day in John’s Gospel. The darkness in John is the domain of evil. In John’s Gospel when Judas leaves the Last Supper to betray Jesus, John inserts a parenthetical remark. When Judas leaves to betray him, John says, “And it was night.” The darkness is the domain of wrong, of hatred, of bigotry, of violence, the domain of sin and death and horror.

And early in the morning while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, Hallelujah, Anyhow.

The truth is, she didn’t know that Jesus was alive. She was just doing what love does. Caring for her beloved, her Savior, her friend, in his time of death, to give him the last rites of burial. And when she got to the tomb, and the other women with them, they eventually discovered that Jesus was alive, and in the silence of the night, in the moments of despair, in the moments of the worst darkness, God had done something incredible. God had raised Jesus from the dead

The truth is, nobody saw Jesus rise from the dead, because God had done it secretly and quietly, when nob

A Christmas message from Bishop Tarrant

By Bishop John Tarrant

IMG_4130As Lutheran pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer sat imprisoned by the Nazis in Advent of 1943, he recounted a picture painted by the German artist Albrecht Altdorfer, in 1511, of the Holy Family. Many artists have painted a scene of the Nativity, but Altdorfer had captured the prisoner Bonhoeffer’s memory. Altdorfer painted the scene on wood panel. It is different than what we are usually accustomed to seeing.

In Altdorfer’s painting, the sky is dark; full of clouds. The light of the star penetrates the sky casting a glow on the scene. The shepherds are at a distance in the background, easy to miss. The angels have a watchful eye over what appears to be a house or stable in ruins. The broken and crumbled brick walls look like the results of extreme neglect or maybe even war. In either case, it is the type of lodging in which a refugee family might find themselves.

Just off center, in the foreground, you can see that part of this broken building is occupied by cattle. You have to look to notice Mary and Joseph behind a fallen wall. Joseph holds a candle in one hand protecting its flame from the evening breeze with his other hand. Mary is kneeling on the ground, looking adoringly at the child in front of her. All the while the angels look on.

Bonhoeffer reflects that, perhaps Altdorfer meant to tell us “Christmas can, and should, be celebrated in this way too.” He concludes, “that, in any event, is what he does tell us.” and so from his prison cell, away from those he loved, in the midst of a world that seemed to be coming apart at the seams, Dietrich Bonhoeffer would celebrate Christmas. He would celebrate the best that he could, understanding what it was that he was celebrating, and what it was that was important.

Bonhoeffer’s prison cell and Altdorfer’s painting remind us that God has come into the world that is. A world that has mass shootings,wars, house fires, and automobile accidents. A world where cancer still kills and children die of malnutrition and even a world with suicide. This is the world that God has entered, not a cleaned-up, white-washed world that makes for great pictures and pretty songs. God has entered into our world in the person of Jesus, just as it is, to guide and empower us to make it a bit more like the world God created it to be.

At Christmas, we are reminded that God in Christ Jesus came and still comes to our world; the bright-lit homes and the broken homes; the happy hearted, and the lonely hearted; those who have faith and those who still seek. He comes and when we open ourselves to his presence he dwells among us.

 

#StandwithStandingRock

standingrock-winter

Trouble the Waters:

How to Support the Standing Rock Water Protectors

God is troubling the waters, stirring us up to act on God’s behalf.

Join the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline by supporting

the Standing Rock Water Protectors.

 Come together to pray, act, and spread the word!

From Sunday, Dec. 4, to Wednesday, Dec. 7, join together at your church or home to call and write the government authorities who can stop the attacks on the Water Protectors, to demand that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe be consulted, listened to and respected, and to stop the pipeline. Watch live feeds on Facebook to monitor what is happening (look at the pages for Oceti Sakowin Camp; Standing Rock Rising; Dallas Goldtooth; Myron Dewey; Clergy Standing With Standing Rock). Then, flood social media with your efforts, using the hash tag #StandwithStandingRock.

 Sample script: I am calling/writing/emailing in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. I am appalled by the violation of civil, constitutional and human rights taking place at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Please intervene to stop the atrocities and the pipeline.

Tell the world that you Stand with Standing Rock!

 We need you to call and e-mail the following people and agencies

to tell them to act now!

https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice

And sign this petition as soon as possible:

https://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/dear-pres-obama-will-you-honor-your-commitment-to-protect-the-people-of-standing-roc

For more information, contact:

The Rev. Dr. Lauren R. Stanley, 605-828-3892, MereLaurenS@gmail.com

The Rev. Matthew Cowden, 574-309-1709, frmatthewcowden@gmail.com