Christine Martin. Photo courtesy Christine Martin

By Christine Martin

To say that the last year has been a nightmare is an understatement. Throughout the last 13.5 months or so, the entire world faced such a drastic change; our new normal was a global pandemic. Like most people this last year, I have struggled greatly to find the joy in such a dark time. It felt all too easy to lose myself in the loneliness, and I was barely able to hold my closest relationships during quarantine, including my relationship with God. …


Photos courtesy Ian Nelson of St. Stephen’s, Longmont, and Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

By Ian Nelson

St. Stephen’s Longmont has been through an interesting three years of growth. Before the pandemic hit, we had retired two rectors over fifteen months. First, we said goodbye to our long-term rector of more than 28 years, and then we bid farewell to our interim rector. We had known they were planning to retire. Still, when it came time, the departures were bittersweet for us. Adding to the uncertainty, the Episcopal Church in Colorado was transitioning to a new bishop. So while things went smoothly, at St. Stephen’s, we navigated the transitions with some trepidation. I had…


Volunteers help with the Annual Campaign distribution at All Saints’, Loveland. Photo courtesy Carl Peterson

By Tad Leeper

Picture this: It is the second week of March 2020. The gravity of a COVID-19 pandemic was dawning across the United States — including the state of Colorado. On March 8 that same week, a Sunday, All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Loveland had conducted two in-person worship services. Then on March 12, 2020, in the evening, I faced a life-threatening medical emergency — an acute cardiac event caused by atrial fibrillation (A-fib). The quick action of my wife, Mary, saved my life that night. She called 911, and after the Loveland Fire and Rescue EMTs arrived, they…


Photo courtesy Dylan LaPierre on Unsplash

By the Rev. Richard Paxton, the Rev. Sally Brown, & the Rev. Nancey Johnson Bookstein, Deacons

***

By the Rev. Richard Paxton, Deacon
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Basalt

As I reflect on my year of quarantine, “grief” seems to be the wrong word. “Outrage” hits much closer to the mark. Among all the bitter events of 2020, I was most outraged over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the city in which my wife and I became engaged — a city of fond memories. I grew up in the Mid-South — in a culture steeped in overt racism. Years later, my midwestern college peers often chided me, arguing that “southerner”…


Photo courtesy Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

by Canon Mike Orr

The other day, I heard from a friend — rather, the partner of a longtime friend. I didn’t know him well, but I liked and admired him.

He came to the point right away, admitting to his pain and anger toward the Church. Why me? He knew I was a churchgoer, a person of faith — a person who would listen.

He’d grown up in rural South Dakota and had attended church regularly from childhood through early adulthood. He did all the right things: went to church camps, led small groups, played the organ, and served…


Moonset from the back (west) side of Barberry Cottage at Cathedral Ridge. Photo courtesy the Rev. Mary Kate Réjouis

by the Rev. Mary Kate Réjouis

Early last summer, when churches and clergy and leadership were still just pivoting, and pivoting again, I was so grateful that Cathedral Ridge, under the leadership of the Rev. Kim Seidman, chose to pivot so we could get away, safely.

“Safe at home at Cathedral Ridge” was the tag line, and I leapt at the chance. I have no shame in saying it was mostly because there is no washer and dryer to use there. Laundry had become the persistent sign and symbol of everything hard about COVID-19 isolation. Laundry was always there, lurking…


Photo courtesy Ales Maze on Unsplash

by Dr. Lynn W. Huber

Ever since my conversion to Christianity in 1962, I have believed I must never stop praying because “whenever I stop praying, the coincidences stop happening.”1

Over a period of five years, beginning on May 28, 2016, I have managed to withstand a devastating series of losses. This year, I decided to name my Lenten prayer theme “The Three Gs: Grief, Grace, and Gratitude.”

Shortly after I named my prayer theme, I was invited to contribute my own story to a series on these very same Gs. This left me with no doubt that this…


Photo courtesy Nick Fewings on Unsplash

by Bishop Kym Lucas

“Hope is forged out of the biblical call to dig deep into our innards to tell the truth of what we see, feel, hear, and experience. And it reminds us that we must always show up in the face of relentless evil, particularly in such times when it appears so normal and natural in our midst.” — E. M. Townes

This past year I have spent a lot of time thinking and praying about hope. In a conversation with my therapist (who is Jewish), I spoke about how tired I was: tired of the pandemic, tired…


Mike and Elizabeth Cervasio with daughter Eva (centered), with godparents Robb Gallegos and Shannon Hollander. Photo courtesy Elizabeth Cervasio

by Elizabeth Cervasio

I will never forget December 23, 2018. Holding our daughter, I stood next to my husband — my brother and sister-in-law beside us, supporting us, as the four of us proudly proclaimed, “I will, with God’s help.” Everyone applauded and cheered as my daughter, Eva Rose the newest baptized member, was welcomed into God’s family. It was a special day indeed. And as I think about that wonderful memory, I’m struck by those five little words. “I will, with God’s help.”

This is no small thing we are committing to do. We are making a covenant, a…


The Rev. Mary Kate Rejouis works from her table at home. Photo courtesy John Rejouis

By the Rev. Mary Kate Réjouis

Originally published January 2021 on ECF Vital Practices at
https://www.ecfvp.org/vestry-papers/article/895/leading-in-a-pandemic

On one of the first Sundays of Coronatide worship by Zoom, I choked up as I sang a short blessing over our people. My voice got squeaky and my face got red. A breath and a pause, and I was able to move onward and finish, but what our dear good people remembered was seeing, up close, the depth of grief we were just beginning to feel as a congregation and a country. There’s no pastoral distance with Zoom.

I serve God as the…

Colorado Episcopalian

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