The parish of St. Elizabeth is people and relationships. And so, while the church building may be temporarily closed, we continue to be a resilient and resourceful community of God’s children. Here are some ways that we can stay in touch, stay in relationship with each other and with God, and stay a worshipping church. Fr. John sends regular email messages and updates, and so if you are not receiving these and would like to, please let him know: email@example.com
The liturgy at St. Elizabeth is ancient, even as we look to the future and incorporate current multi-disciplinary scholarship into our offerings. Consequently, we have taken a page from our earliest history and are now practicing in our homes as the first Christians did. Each week, Fr. John sends a PDF of a Sunday service with the appointed readings, prayers and a sermon so that all who participate at home are sharing in a spiritual collective even while we are apart physically. Please contact Fr. John if you would like to be added to that weekly offering.
Live-Stream and Virtual Worship
- St Mark’s Cathedral Sunday 11:00 a.m. PST
- National Cathedral Morning, Evening & Sunday 8:00 a.m. PST
- Stations of the Cross at St. Elizabeth video
Episcopalians have deep roots in the Benedictine pattern of prayer, called the “Liturgy of the Hours” or the “Daily Offices.” Traditionally, monastic communities following the Rule of St Benedict prayed up to eight times each 24-hour day:
- Matins or Vigil (in the past, around 2 a.m.; now more frequently at 4:00 to 5:30 a.m.)
- Lauds (at dawn, around 5 to 6 a.m., sometimes changing earlier in summer, later in winter)
- Prime (First Hour, about 6 a.m.)
- Terce (Third Hour, about 9 a.m.)
- Sext (Sixth Hour, about noon)
- None (Ninth Hour, about 3 p.m.)
- Vespers (“at the lighting of the lamps,” about 6 p.m.)
- Compline (before going to bed, typically around 7 p.m.)
In recent years, even monasteries have rescheduled the hours. Mt. Angel Abbey, for example, prays the following:
- Vigils – 5:20 a.m. bell
- Lauds – 6:30 a.m. bell
- Mass – 7:55 bell (This replaces Prime)
- Noon – (combines Terce, Sext and None)
- Vespers – 5:15 bell
- Compline – 7:25 bell
For Episcopalians, the Book of Common Prayer provides prayers for Morning Prayer (in place of Vigils/Lauds), Noon Prayer, Evening Prayer (Vespers) and Compline. If you do not have a copy of the BCP, Fr. John can supply an e-book for you by email. (When we return to gathering for Evening Prayer, St. Elizabeth will once again offer Evening Prayer every Wednesday evening at 5:30, or a Mass at 5:30 on the last Wednesday of every month.)
Other excellent on-line resources can be found here:
While we are practicing safe distancing, Fr. John is sending home worship guides that continue our practice of lifting up the prayers on the hearts and minds of people in the parish. Some practitioners also pray for these intentions every day. If you have an intercession, a thanksgiving, a person or people you would like to add to these prayers, send your requests to Fr. John: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of the church is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.” We can and must pursue that mission despite the fact that we need to be vigilant about stopping the spread of the virus that threatens our people and our neighbors, not just with disease, but with financial distress. St. Elizabeth is working with an extremely bare bones budget. Even so, the rector, vestry and financial team are looking at all expenses and contributions to be responsible stewards of the incredible community and facility that has been handed down and entrusted to us. Contributions make it possible for us to pay five people whom we hold dear and who help us keep this place together!
While the church building is closed, your weekly, monthly or one-time contribution will allow us to:
• Provide upkeep and maintenance of the church building and grounds
• Allow church staff to maintain all areas of our ministry work
• Ensure that normal operations can resume when the time comes
• Offer some short-term financial relief for struggling parishioners
You can send checks to:
St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church
P.O. Box 66579
Burien, WA 98166
Or you can download and use Givelify at Givelify.com
Please mark your contribution so that we know if you are paying part or all of your pledge or making a one-time gift. If you would like to contribute funds for those in the parish who have lost sources of income, please indicate that on your check or Givelify gift by noting that it is intended for the “Rector’s Discretionary Fund.” (And, of course, if you are among those whose income has been reduced or lost, we understand that you need to tend to other priorities for now. Please do just let us know so that we can make responsible choices for the next few months.).
Please also consider donating directly to two of the places St. Elizabeth has supported over the years and will continue once we can collect supplies again:
Mutual Care Groups
We have created and assigned small groups of parishioners to check in on each other weekly so that we can stay connected and stay informed about each other’s physical, emotional, spiritual and other needs. If you are a parishioner who has not been connected, please contact Fr. John.
Pastoral and other care
These are stressful times and we will need to carry each other’s burdens from time to time. We have gathered a team of folks ready and willing to help by dropping off groceries, picking up prescriptions and other chores that some of our more vulnerable parishioners may not be able to tend to. Fr. John is also available by phone, text or email to respond to parishioners who find themselves needing to talk or make referrals.
Faith Practices at Home
Many of the following resources are focused on households with children, though they are appropriate for any of us! These were gathered by Christ Church, Bronxville, NY:
- Storymakers – StoryMakers is dedicated to creating new ways to share God’s redemptive narrative found in the Bible.
- Watch a Godly Play story! – The Godly Play Foundation has a YouTube channel with numerous stories to watch being presented by a myriad of Godly Play trainers.
- Worship at Home – When it isn’t possible to join with the local church, this outline is designed to help you have a short time of worship as a household. Please adapt it to suit those who are present – add anything you might usually do in church or omit anything that you are not comfortable with. Have a variety of voices leading, not just the oldest!
- Do Faith at Home – Faith at Home is a weekly lectionary devotional/Bible study for families provided by Forma and Forward Movement. Its mission: Our faith is not just something we check in with on Sundays; our faith is how we live lives of meaning and purpose every day of the week, if we will learn to notice and respond to how God is moving.
- The FAITH5 – The FAITH5 from Faith Inkubators is a simple, easy-to-implement faith practice, perfect for incorporating into your bedtime routine for five to fifteen minutes a night.
- We Wonder – Lent is a podcast from the Church of England, a contemplative Lenten devotional for children to wonder together about the story of God. Each episode features: a scripture passage brought to life with dynamic music and sound effects, a short, engaging reflection on the passage, a contemplative time for wondering together about the story for the day, and brief thoughts and prayer led by a special child-guest each day.
- Tucked In: Bedtime Stories & Prayers – Tucked In: Bedtime Stories and Prayers with Episcopalians and others is a Facebook Group that does live-streaming of different folks reading a picture book with faith themes. Each Wednesday evening (7:00pm ET) and occasional Mondays, you can join to hear Bible and other stories and short bedtime prayers.
- Candle Walk – For children, Karin Holsinger Sherman’s Candle Walk is a beautiful illustrated picture book that prepares children for sleep by taking them on a candlelit wander through the woods and inviting them to experience the Compline, a centuries-old practice of contemplative evening prayer. Appropriate for toddlers through elementary-aged children, Candle Walk is a wonderful way to prepare children for sleep, assured of the nearness of God. The Order of Compline from The Book of Common Prayer is also included at the back of the book.