Sunday, after the service, consecrated hosts will be available for you to pick up at the church (outside the sanctuary doors) between 11am and 1pm. Each envelope will contain several wafers and an order of service for communion under special circumstances.
If you come to pick up an envelope, you are welcome to spend time in the memorial garden, or outdoors on our campus to read the prayers and consume the host or you can take it home and reserve it for the next service of holy Eucharist we hold over zoom. Please note, we are not prepared to open the sanctuary or any of the buildings at this time, so please plan accordingly. We ask that everyone wear a mask on the property and maintain 6ft distance from others.
If you are unable to pick up communion at the church this Sunday and would like an envelope delivered to you please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
and this could be arranged. (We will not be sending the Eucharist through the mail).
Yesterday my heart broke a bit. See, a couple of weeks ago I ran into one of our regular shower guests in downtown Claremont He looked different since I last saw him. Which made sense when he told me he had lost 25 lbs since the beginning of the pandemic and hadn't had a shower since March when we closed out shower program. It is easy to forget the very real impact our shower and food program offers our community. Over the next couple of weeks, on behalf of the church I bought him some gift cards to get a hot meals once in a while, as his foodstamps had expired.
Yesterday I met him at the church so he could shower, and leave his backpack, containing all his belongings, at the church while he went down to the department of human services office to reinstate his food stamps. He carries the pack for security reasons, not trusting many others on the streets to watch it for him while he goes into the office where he can't bring it in.
After several hours he called me, ready to pick up his pack again. When I arrived at the church he told me that his foodstamps had been suspended for 1 year for failure to report income. The income he failed to report was the stimulus check many of us received. How was he or the countless others who rely on these benefits, to know they needed to report stimulus checks as regular income? How many people are now facing hunger because of this easy mistake?
For the next year he will not be given any foodstamps. Foodstamps are his only regular income to provide for his basic needs. Foodbanks can help, but the food they distribute often requires a place to cook it. Given all the changes to the social services available due to the pandemic, this explains how he lost 25lbs.
I am saddened, and challenged this week. The systems in place to help those most in need are well intentioned, but not sufficient. Our community of Saint Ambrose has made it a priority to follow Jesus command to find Christ in the hungry, the homeless, the refugees.
In our country torn by politics, battles for racial justice, and as we work toward the end of a pandemic, we can easily watch the news and get overwhelmed. So many big problems "out there", what are we supposed to do in our individual lives?
Yesterday someone reminded me of the often quoted words of Mother Theresa “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” We can't tackle it all, but we can change the world with small acts with great love. Small acts like voting, like attending a training on anti-racism, like wearing a mask, or the simple act of buying someone hungry McDonald's for dinner.
Until we get our shower and food program back up and running, I would like to invite you to join me in offering our neighbors who are homeless something in this desolate time. Starting this Sunday we will collect non-perishable food items that do not require cooking and small gift cards to local fast food restaurants. These will be distributed to not only the shower guest mentioned above, but others we know who are falling through the cracks.
After our service this Sunday from 11am - 1pm you will be able to drop off your donations and pick up communion. If you can't make it to the church during these hours feel free to contact me or Andy to arrange a time to drop off donations or pickup Eucharist. Announced below are some additional in-person outdoor events at the church, during which you can always bring your donations.
Let us not be paralyzed by the enormity of change we are going through as a nation but maintain a focus on our individual responsibilities to offer this world the very best of our love.