Grace Episcopal Church has suspended all in-person campus events, activities, and worship services until further notice. Please visit our Grace@Home page to see ways we are staying connected to one another, to Grace, and to God during the days ahead.
422 Brenau Avenue, Gainesville, GA 30501
As these days continue on, with the pressures and uncertainties that seem to come in waves, many of the conversations we share all orbit around questions of what we can do in these moments. How does our faith actually give us new eyes, ears, and a heart for living each and every moment? What does prayer look like? How are we learning that “church” isn’t something we attend on Sunday mornings but something that we are each and every moment of our lives?
I invite you to share in a deeply meaningful practice of prayer called the Stations of the Cross. Cynthia, Cheryl, Jennifer, and an entire imaginative team have worked these past several days to set up prayer stations around the campus. While we grieve that we cannot pray inside in our typical ways, we also realize that the Spirit gives us new insights into ways that we can understand our lives as being united to Christ. The Stations of the Cross are a deeply powerful practice that asks us to bring our whole selves–the grief, the confusion, the searching–and lay it alongside the journey Jesus took in his own great moments of suffering. Below is a video that reflects on this question of how we understand suffering in our lives.
The team has worked to put this pandemic version of the Stations all online, and you can pray from home or from the campus, using your phone to scan QR codes posted at each of the fourteen Stations. There are interactive components, a labyrinth, and invitations to sit and wonder. To be honest. The prayers of each Station are also recorded by parishioners, so you can hear one another’s voices saying the prayers as you take your time through the journey. We will even offer it in Spanish soon.
I want to thank the entire team who leaned into this question of “What do we do with all this?” by giving of themselves in this way. For Cynthia who composed a new set of prayers to go with each Station that connects with the questions we are asking right now. For Cheryl and Jennifer whose imaginative capacity is awe-inspiring. For Jeremy whose dedication and willingness to support is so constant. For each and every one who recorded prayers. Friends, this is what community looks like: each of us naming what we can do in the midst of the limits we face and sharing of ourselves with grace and gratitude.
I hope you take the time to both come and share in the Stations of the Cross as well as invite others who you know are seeking and wondering at this time.
This is “what we do with all this:” we practice our prayers together, with honesty, gratitude, and trust in the Spirit’s indwelling presence.
God bless you all,