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Letter from Fr. Rob


I walk the dawg every morning around 6:45 am. She loves it; I get by.

Along the way we pass the house of a couple I really admire. It is a home they had built to their likes after he retired from serving the Marine Corp as a career veteran. The house next door was built for their daughter and her husband. Retired with kids next door; a dream come true.

I see them all the time. We smile and laugh as my critter sniffs and pulls at her leash. We make jokes about it.

It has been about a year since their daughter lost her battle with cancer. They have her beloved bicycle parked outside with a basket of flowers. A constant memorial. It is also a reminder of what was not supposed to be their “now”.

This morning Ella and I walked by their house just as they were coming out to take an early morning walk in this quiet neighborhood. As they turned in our direction, they acknowledged our presence with a “it’s a new day”, smiles and then the couple took each other’s hand and began to get their exercise.

That brief little gesture – “it’s a new day” – sent my mind wandering, wondering….

“it’s a new day” is uplifting and hopeful. Noting the pain of the past, looking forward, we do the only thing we can do: go on.

It’s a new day – loved one remembered and missed. Died way too young. Beyond the pain of disease. As the pain of loss becomes more and more everyday so does the hope of being able to deal with that pain and thus defeating that pain.

It’s a new day – our nation has been battered over the past few years: divisions, racial tensions and the ever-present Covid. It seems that things are beginning to turn a bit all around, especially with the pandemic environment. It is changing enough that St. Augustine’s has opened the doors for a return to what feels more like the worship we love – sharing it together in the Nave and at the altar.

We note and appreciate that Marvin has done his magic and had our “one-eyed genie” livestreaming the services twice a week for a year. Now we have moved his camera on a tripod to the side of the room so that the congregation can gather. I can see you; you can see me.

We are not completely back to “normal”. We do not pass the peace. We do not receive the sacrament at the altar rail, but on the way out of the building. We continue to mask.

We don’t sing hymns, but we do have Theresa and Marvin doing duets to the guitar. To my knowledge we were and may still be the only live music in the diocese.

It’s a new day!

God’s people have held on and adapted to the best of our ability. We have endured and are now able to begin the process back to doing church the way we want to do church.

The timing is pretty good. Sunday we will enter Holy Week. It is the time when our Lenten focus becomes more acute as we prepare for the Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday).

It is the hope of your wardens, vestry and me that we can celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection together on Sunday 4 April. A few of our parish have already started coming back to the 9:30 Mass. I hope that all will feel welcome and safe in the environment we are providing.

As my friends down the street, we cannot forget what the past has been or delivered to us.. We, like they, go forward. We are thankful for this little piece of ground called St. Augustine’s, Navarre. It has survived other bumps and it has survived this pandemic punch.

We are open for business! The business of adoration and praise.

Hey! It’s a new day.




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