Dear Faith Family,
The coronavirus pandemic has caused us to fundamentally shift the way we do ministry here at Canterbury for the rest of the semester. As classes at A&M have moved to online-only, many of our students have moved back home. And currently our guidelines are that we not gather in groups of more than 10 people. How does a community stay connected when we cannot gather? In two ways that tie back to our deep roots in the Christian monastic tradition, through prayer and work, "ora et labora."
Here you will find resources for ORA, ways to pray the hours of the day together: Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline. By praying together, we will stay together connected across time and space.
You will also find resources for LABORA, ways we can serve. Currently we seek volunteers to help the elderly and homebound in College Station through picking up groceries, medicine, and taking out meals to leave at doorsteps. There's also a link to let me know you need to talk with me if you are feeling isolated yourself and need to reach out via text, phone, FaceTime or Zoom.
And for fun, to guide us through this time, we have our new mascot, CanterBeary, to show us the way! CanterBeary is a monk-bear, and monks know how to structure their days around prayer and work in a way that keeps them connected to God and to one another.
Look for more updates as we move closer to the fall semester.
Rev Rich Nelson
"Ora" means to pray. Us monks pray several times a day to keep us connected to God and each other. Use these times to give structure to your day so you don't feel so alone.
Pray As You Go is a wonderful daily prayer podcast based around a scripture reading for the day, read twice for deeper reflection, a question to help you integrate it into your life, and calm, meditative music to help us center ourselves for the start of a new day.
Compline is the final service of the day before bed. A quiet service commending ourselves to God's loving care.
We have two versions recorded by our students:
1. Audio recording led by Gregory Cross
2. Video recording led by Lillian Brannen
"Labora" means to work. It is important in times like this to have meaningful labor that serves to help others, especially those in most need.
meals for you
Meals continue to be available from the Dine-In-Dude for student in College Station. Contact Rich to find out how you can receive them.
Spending time alone or with unstructured days can be difficult and lead to depression. It is important to keep a daily routine. I suggest you:
1. Get up at a regular time and get dressed every day. It will help you feel normal.
2. Create a schedule that keeps you on task, remember to include time for prayer, work/study, recreation and rest.
3. Spend time outdoors and enjoy nature. Thankfully, it is springtime and there is much beauty to take in.
4. Stay connected. Call, text, videochat, DM, IM, share on Instagram, get on HouseParty, or whatever. Get together with friends in small groups.
5. Take breaks. Step away from the computer, the news, the tv, the phone, and do something to refresh and decompress.
And stay in touch with Canterbury!