During these unusual circumstances, Bishop Hughes wants to ensure that everyone in the Diocese of Newark has the opportunity to receive Communion at least three times in this program year. In this video she invites members of the diocese to participate in – and pray for – the first Diocesan Communion on Sunday, November 8, 2020. (Time: 3:49.)
This is Bishop Hughes in the diocese of Newark, and this message is especially for the people of this diocese. Over the last few weeks you've heard me talk about making a shift from getting through pandemic to living with pandemic. It's not that that any of us believes this is going to go on forever. It's just that we have come to understand it's going to keep going for a while, and it's not helpful for us to keep setting a date that we think it's going to be over by, and holding off on the ways that we are church, until it is over. Instead, we've been asking ourselves, how do we live with pandemic.
In the last VOICE Online, the diocesan newsletter, I put out information about three areas of the church – Holy Communion, Confirmation and Convention – and what we were going to do in those three areas as we continue to live with pandemic. I want to speak to the first one today. One of the things we're going to do is, three times during the liturgical year, make sure that every member of our diocese who would like to receive Holy Communion is able to. The first of those times is coming up quickly on November 8th and that's why I bring that up today.
This is going to be a big effort for every parish in our diocese. We're going to need help. Your clergy are going to need help. We're going to need the help of people who can come masked and gloved up and being safe to package up the blessed elements so that it's able to travel along with a prayer card to people who need to receive it at home. We are going to need people who can make phone calls to find out who does want to receive it at home, to take those reservations so we know exactly when we will be dropping it off. And we're going to need people who can help with dropping the blessed element off. Keep in mind, we're not looking to have lay eucharistic visitors do home Communion. This is something entirely different. This is dropping off the blessed element at a specified time so someone can receive it and they can say the prayers themselves or with their family.
This is not only a big effort, but I'm asking for all of your prayers that it would be a blessed effort. An effort that is a blessing both for those who volunteer and for those who receive and for the entirety of the diocese. I ask you to join me in praying that when we receive Communion, at all times, but especially when the entire diocese is receiving on November 8th, the Communion would resonate in us the way it is meant to. That the transforming presence of Jesus Christ in our lives, in our spirits, in our minds and in our hearts will go out with us into the world where we are able to share God's love and to share God's ministry of transformation and healing. That indeed will be a blessed effort.
I look forward to seeing you at some point or hearing about your stories at some point of being a part of this Holy Communion on November 8th for all of the diocese.