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Letter from Bishop Miller on COVID-19

Dear Friends in Christ,

Greetings in this Holy Season of Lent. Please know of my prayers for you all and especially at this time which has seen the emergence of the Coronavirus COVID-19. Many are wondering what the emergence of this virus means for our common life. At the bottom of this letter you will find resources from the Diocese of Olympia and the Diocese of Fond du Lac. I encourage you to review them as individuals and as congregations.

I ask you to do the following.

PRAY – for all those affected, for health care workers and clinicians, and for those working to eradicate this virus.

KEEP CALM – Unnecessary panic is never helpful any situation.

WASH YOUR HANDS – properly, for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes one to say the Lord’s Prayer) with soap and hot water.

REMEMBER - Receiving the Eucharist in one kind (either the bread or the wine) is a full communion with Christ. It is not necessary to receive communion in both kinds. Follow any amended communion practices in your parish with charity.

It is not necessary to exchange the peace physically by hugging and shaking hands; a bow or flashing the peace sign is acceptable. Remember until this Book of Common Prayer, the Peace was simply a verbal exchange. One way to help strengthen this change might be to move the peace to right after the Lord’s Prayer as authorized in the liturgy. Also, remember that you do not have to greet everyone in the church.

STAY HOME- If you are sick or have been exposed.

May God bless you in this holy season.

The Rt. Rev. Steven Andrew Miller
Bishop of Milwaukee

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

https://ecww.org/covid19response/

https://www.diofdl.org/news/communion-and-the-coronavirus

Statement from Bishop Miller in response to the mass shooting at Molson Coors

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Dear Friends in Christ,

Although I am away on sabbatical, you and the people and communities we serve are very much on my mind. I write to today after yet another round of senseless tragedy at the Molson Coors complex in the Miller Valley. My heart breaks as I see the images of our beloved see city displayed on the television.

This is the 11th mass shooting in Wisconsin since 2004. Another in 2012 led to the founding of Bishop’s United against Gun Violence. Our work continues. In early April, I will travel to Washington, DC to meet with members of Congress to plead for them to take action now to enact laws that over 80% of Americans support. The time is now!

When I learned of yesterday’s shooting I was immediately struck that this was the second mass shooting to occur on Ash Wednesday. Two years ago we watched in horror at the tragic shootings at Parkland High School. This year they occurred in Wisconsin as we were remembering our mortality and being marked with ashes in the sign of the cross. That so many lose their lives in such senseless acts of violence brings new poignancy to the prayer many of us will utter this Sunday in the Great Litany, “from dying suddenly and unprepared; Good Lord, deliver us.”

In this season of renewed devotion, I invite you to join me in intentional praying of our Lord’s Prayer thrice daily with special emphasis on the words, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” As you pray these words, remember that you are an agent of God’s reign. God is calling each and every one of us as citizens of God’s kingdom to work, love, and give for its manifestation.

May God keep all of you safe in the palm of his hand.

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Steven A. Miller
Bishop


Bishops United Against Gun Violence has also released a statement on the shooting. You can find that statement here.

A Lenten Message from Bishop Miller

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we begin to walk the way of Lent this year, I found myself drawn to the words of the first two verses of Hymn #142.

Lord, who throughout these forty days for us didst fast and pray,
Teach us with thee to mourn our sins and close by thee to stay
As thou with Satan didst contend and didst the victory win
O Give us strength in thee to fight in thee to concur sin.

I hear in these words an echo of our Presiding Bishop’s Invitation for Lent 2020: A Call to Prayer, Fasting and Repentance leading to action. I encourage you to read his letter and consider its invitation.

 I also hear in this hymn a reminder that Lent is not first and foremost about guilt but rather sanctification. Repentance is re-direction, re-minding, and re-training under the guidance of the Spirit. The purpose of Lenten observance is not seasonal holiness but participation in God’s process of making us more and more into the people we are destined to be. We pray for grace to fight and conquer sin in our lives so that we may know the truth the Apostle Paul sets forth in the Letter to the Romans that “in all things we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The lessons we learn in Lent are meant to carry through to the Easter Life. The lessons learned in the Lenten desert are to empower us for service to God, just as our Lord’s forty days in the desert prepared him for his public ministry.

My prayer is that this holy season will be for us all a season of renewed faith and devotion.

Yours in Christ,

Bishop Steven A. Miller

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