Dear St. Luke’s Church Family,
I am writing to you at the end of a difficult week. A dear friend of mine from college tested positive for COVID-19 after being sent home from the hospital twice. She is now in an intensive care unit (ICU), as her family and medical team work to identify a new course of her treatment. As the days roll on, I’m realizing that in some way or another, we’re all affected by the Coronavirus. There are news reports that New York State is the epicenter of the virus outbreak, with almost 10 times more cases than any other state. The fear which is enveloping us all isn’t unfounded.
Amid this pandemic, I remain hopeful. My hope is rooted in these words from Scripture: “do not be afraid.” This phrase (or some variation of it) is mentioned 365 times in the Bible. There’s a tradition which believes God knew we would need a reminder for each day of the year! The fear around us – and I daresay within us – isn’t unique to us and our time. History bears record to previous pandemics. In every generation, God has used people as instruments of healing, through both scientific breakthroughs and in simple acts of kindness shown to someone in need. So many of you have been God’s heart and hands in the East Hampton community—angels ministering to the people of God in this season of wilderness.
Please know that you and your dear ones have been in my heart and prayers. My Sunday mornings have not been the same without being with you. I’ve missed seeing your cars file into the parking lot. I’ve missed celebrating at the altar. I’ve missed Bobby and our fabulous choir. I’ve missed anointing you and holding you as we pray together in the Chapel. I’ve missed the peals of your laughter at coffee hour rising up like prayers to my second-floor office. These sacramentals will be even sweeter once we’re able to be together again. I pray that it won’t be a moment longer than necessary.
In the interim, let me remind you that the brick and mortar of our beautiful sanctuary isn’t the Church—it’s you and me! In that spirit, I invite you to join me again this Sunday. We’ll worship remotely using Zoom video conferencing. I like this platform because it can accommodate a large gathering and will allow us to see one another virtually. You may download the app on your computer, tablet or mobile phone, entering the meeting ID. If you are not able to join by video, please join by calling the Dial in number, entering the meeting ID when prompted. That information is below.
With Fr. Denis’ return from sabbatical on April 1, this will be my last weekly letter to you. Believe me, these three months have been memorable! I want to thank you all for your encouragement and support of my leadership and ministry in his absence.
“Finally, beloved whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me and the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil. 4:8-9)
Peace and every blessing to you,
The Rev. Leandra T. Lambert
Office: 631.329.0990 ext. 18
Cell: 646.642.4105 (Pastoral Emergency Only)