Dear Good Shepherd Parish Family (and friends)- Greetings!
It looks like school days will indeed come to North Texas (at least Granbury’s part) next week. This season of “Covid” has put many of us on tinter-hooks about almost everything we have taken for granted in years past: “Will there be professional sports?”; “Will there be a national political campaign?” ; “When will we be able to see our natural family, relatives, church family?”
I hope you will remember: Christ is still King, and those who belong to Him need never fear. The Church must be an agent of strong Faith, resisting any temptations to despair or irrational fear. Yes: we want to be wise and careful. But, NO…we need not entertain fears that are planted in us by a culture that embraces death (via abortion, infanticide, and assisted suicide) while signaling a concern for freedom from disease. According to one of our recent readings from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, “We are MORE than conquerors, through Him who loved us”. Even if I were to (God forbid) contract and die from COVID, the strong, healing, safe arms of our Savior would lift me up beyond bodily death. Resurrection is the last word from God. Death is not. Suffering is not. Life beyond the grave is a promise…not a pious myth.
So much for an unwanted sermon, eh? (Sorry!)
Here we go:
(A) “What I Hope to Do on My Summer Vacation”Tuesday morning, Sara and I drive away for a 2 week vacation. Here’s a little piece I wrote for the bulletin “Flock Talk” this week:
“What I Hope to do on My Summer Vacation”
“Beginning Monday, August 10th, I will begin my summer vacation for two weeks: Yes, I am looking forward to it!!
Sara and I will take a long, driving tour through the lower South. We’ll wind up in Edisto Island, SC, and wind our way back – this time through the Mid-South- to home again by the end of the day, August 24th.
Of course, we will do the usual vacation things: sleep late when we want to; eat and drink a little excessively when we can safely do so; buy souvenirs we think so cool at the time (and later wonder ‘why did we buy this?”)
Personally, in addition to those things, here is what I hope to do the 14 days we’re away from Granbury and GSAC:
· Relax with a good book
· Dream out loud with my wife about our near and distant future lives
· Meet strangers and maybe even get to know a few of them (!)
· See God’s natural beauties and feel the cold Atlantic water on my toes
· Encounter at least one challenging adventure, and overcome adversity thereby
· Avoid Covid-19 fears (yes…avoid Covid-19…but not by nurturing fear)
· Find a couple of new reasons why I love my wife (this should be easy enough!)
· Finally: discover how much I’m ready to get back home to the utterly delightful and God-blessed people of Good Shepherd.”
See you in 14 days!!
(B) YouTube hiatus…and where you can “go” for Mass on 8/15 and 8/22
While Sara and I are away on vacation, we will have two excellent supply priests covering Sunday, 8/16 and Sunday, 8/23: Fr. Bill Bloodgood will supply on 8/16; Fr. Andrew Powell on 8/23. I am so thankful to each of them for their help while I’m away.
However, we will not have a Saturday YouTubing of Mass on 8/15 and 8/22 as we ordinarily do. Mr. Ben Bowen and my wife Sara deserve a break. Many of you have been kind enough to say that you have gotten a lot out of the pre-corded Masses…and I’m glad you have.
So: I did not want to leave you without an alternative, if you are still sheltering-in and accustomed to the YouTube or “live-streaming” option. Here are a couple of suggestions:
The diocesan website indicates the congregation to which the Bishop is going on a given Sunday…or will provide a link to a celebration of the Mass recorded by the Bishop, should he not be physically visiting any congregation the two Sundays I will be away from GSAC.
Simply go to : www.fwepiscopal.org, and search for the link.
Alternatively, you may choose another parish’s website to gain their facebook or YouTube link for 8/16 and 8/23. My personal recommendation would be either Christ The Redeemer Anglican Church in Ft. Worth (wwwCTR.org). or Holy Apostles Anglican Church (www.holyapostlesfortworth.org), also a near FW neighbor of ours.
GSAC WILL have our usual Youtubing of the Mass this coming Saturday (8/08) for viewing on 8/09.
GSAC will NOT have a YouTube service available for viewing on 8/16 or 8/23.
We WILL be ‘back in the saddle again’ on August 29th. Hope you can find a good substitute while I am away.
In Closing, I’d like to thank the Vestry and people of GSAC for the 2 week vacation away from the parish. Of course, we’ll miss you…because we love you.
Keep us in your prayers for safety in travel.
We look forward to sharing our adventures when we return on the 24th.
Love in Christ,
Fr. Stuart Smith