“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
—Romans 15:13

This last Sunday was a bit different from any I’ve ever spent. Attending Sunday Morning Eucharist from home allows for a much more relaxed pace, but this Sunday I had some yardwork that really needed to get done. So I started early, I enlisted my youngest son Connor (since he wasn’t singing this week), and began trimming the dreaded pyracantha, and all the other bushes and trees in the yard. We took a short break to eat some homemade breakfast burritos, and then we were right back to it.

After a few hours of hard work, we heard a call to come in for church. We came in right at 11:00 to a delightful piano duet. It was already getting very hot outside and as I sat there in my grubby clothes enjoying this beautiful music, I couldn’t help but think how strange it was to be at home attending this service, wiping sweat from my brow. And yet here I was right in the middle of a Sunday Service, almost like normal. It was an odd feeling, and though I wouldn’t recommend you all run out and trim your thorny bushes right before turning on YouTube, this service touched me in a way I haven’t felt since Ash Wednesday.

That was a memorable, moving service as well, and it always catches me off guard when a church service really moves me. I don’t often take the time to wait or even try to catch the presence of the Holy Spirit, but surely those times when I least expect it, when I let my guard down—that’s when the Holy Spirit comes and touches my soul. The scripture readings, the sermon, the Nicene Creed—they all felt a little deeper. Then came the Anthem–a beautiful duet with swirling, intertwining harmony. I felt a tear come to my eye and a certain peace in my heart. It didn’t last long, sadly, but those moments, those brushes with the divine are amazing.

That morning, I could have easily stayed outside, working away, saying to myself that I’d tune into the service later—but I would have missed that time with my family, and with my church family, and I would have missed those brushes with the divine that are all too fleeting. I am so grateful that my wife called us in for church. I am grateful for our wonderful clergy and staff, our amazing music directors, our dedicated and talented choir members and for the entire congregation that keeps tuning in and supporting our church.

Even in these times of physical distance, if we are faithful, and we are truly present, we can be closer than we’ve ever been before.

Zac Van Note, Senior Warden