We are a long way from knowing the full impact and calculating the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic, but certain present realities are coming into greater focus. In light of the clear and alarming evidence of the high rate of infection locally – meaning in New York State and particularly in Brooklyn among all five boroughs – Bishop Provenzano has announced he is extending the suspension of public worship and gatherings in all churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island at least through May 17. This necessarily means prolonging the hardship of our physical isolation from one another and the prohibition to pray and serve alongside each other. And the certainty that we will not mark the days of Holy Week and celebrate Easter in our church is a heartbreaking development.
A heartening development is the magnolia tree in the church garden at Clinton and Montague Streets beginning to flower and nearing full bloom. It’s a burst of life and sign of hope we need now. Soon leaves will replace flowers and spring will assert itself, reminding us of God’s rhythm of restoring and renewing what seems lost to us.
As many and great challenges persist, I believe our faith and our enduring connection will sustain us.