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Messages from Bishop Fugh





































In all likelihood, the Order preventing assemblies of more than 10 persons during the
COVID-19 pandemic will still be in effect on Palm/Passion Sunday (Sunday, April 5th), and
possibly through Holy Week and Easter Sunday (April 12th).


First Sundays and Maundy Thursday are times when the Christian Community gathers in its most intimate fellowship at
the Lord’s Table for a meal of recollection and of thanksgiving, the center of the Church and
its various acts of worship. How do we keep such an essential part of our fellowship viable
while being responsive to prohibitions against assemblies and against visiting from home to

Allow me to share with you for inspiration and for practical instruction an Easter Sunday
reading by Thomas G. Pettepiece, from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other
Servants, by Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck.

Today is Resurrection Sunday. My first Easter in prison. Surely the regime can’t continue to
keep almost 10,000 political prisoners in its gallows! In here, it is much easier to understand
how the men in the Bible felt, stripping themselves of everything that was superfluous. Many
of the prisoners have already heard that they have lost their homes, their furniture, and
everything they owned. Our families are broken up. Many of our children are wandering the
streets, their father in one prison, their mother in another.

There is not a single cup. But a score of Christian prisoners experienced the joy of
celebrating communion – without bread or wine. The communion of empty hands. The
non-Christians said: ‘We will help you; we will talk quietly so that you can meet.’ Too dense
a silence would have drawn the guards’ attention as surely as the lone voice of the
preacher. ‘We have no bread, nor water to use instead of wine,’ I told them, ‘but we will act
as though we had.’

‘This meal in which we take part,’ I said, “reminds us of the prison, the torture, the death and
final victory of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The bread is the body which He gave for
humanity. The fact that we have none represents very well the lack of bread in the hunger
of so many millions of human beings. The wine, which we don’t have today, is His blood
and represents our dream of a united humanity, of a just society, without difference of race
or class.’

I held out my empty hand to the first person on my right, and placed it over his open hand,
and the same with the others: ‘Take, eat, this is My body which is given for you; do this in
remembrance of Me.’ Afterward, all of us raised our hands to our mouth, receiving the body
of Christ in silence. ‘Take, drink, this is the blood of Christ which was shed to seal the new
covenant of God with men. Let us give thanks, sure that Christ is here with us,
strengthening us.’
We gave thanks to God, and finally stood up and embraced each other.

On the First Sunday, by whatever medium/platform you are using to engage and stay
connected with your members, following the sermon, and the invitation to Christian
discipleship, kneel at the Communion Table from which your members customarily receive
the bread and the wine which represent the body and blood of Christ. Consecrate the
elements. Then, in the Bidding, encourage all who will to participate in the Communion of
Empty Hands as though they actually had the bread and wine. Once the ban is lifted, at the
first opportunity, when all of God’s children get together, what a time, what a time what a time.


Bishop Clement Fugh

​Sadly, when some people are used to listening and believing the deceptive messages from politicians, words of wisdom sound very strange. However as ministers, we're called to be the keepers of the Lord's vineyard on earth," - - Rev. Vidal
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