February was… packed.
[+] Health: I got an infection from the antibiotics, and they discovered a UTI while testing me for the other infection. So… three rounds of antibiotics in a three week period. Yay!
[+] One Parish One Prisoner. My parish participates in a program called One Parish One Prisoner (OPOP) where churches are paired with a person in the correctional system who is within two years of release. The team from the church builds a relationship with the person and makes their re-entry into society less difficult. My church was paired with a gentleman named Paul, and he was released on March 16, 2022. It has been an absolutely wonderful experience, so all of our hearts fell when he was arrested for parole violations on February 3rd. (There’s a whole mess with Community Corrections that I’m leaving out because I tend to start dropping f-bombs when I think about it.) The following Sunday (the 5th), Fr. Paul brought his wife Beth (who he married in October) up front, and he invited people to come up to the front and lay hands to pray if they felt led. THE PEWS EMPTIED. 40 PEOPLE IN MY STAID EPISCOPAL CHURCH CAME UP TO LAY HANDS AND PRAY.
Apologies that the sound is awful
When he was done praying, Fr. Paul told Beth to turn around and see the people supporting her. She literally doubled over sobbing when she saw all of us. There were very few dry eyes in the house from the rest of us as well. It was one of the most powerful moments of my Christian life.
Paul was released on February 16th.
[+] More Loss. I got a call on February 6th from Charlotte’s husband Bud letting me know that she was entering hospice. The two of them were two of my favorite Zoom parishioners, and I was grateful for the chance to be able to say good-bye even if it ended up being over email. She passed away on February 16th, and her funeral was this past weekend. I chose her book as part of my Lenten reading, and it was quite good. Bud is now (hopefully) one of our in-person parishioners, and it has been good to get to know him better.