Alecia Greenfield
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Developments continue to take hold in our city and world in relation to the covid-19 virus, some of it is helpful information and some of it remains unhelpful. Our Archbishop has been proactively working to ensure her clergy remain in the loop regarding developments, and any impacts on the parish. Locally, our wardens and I have been having conversations regarding impact, risk mitigation, and short term planning, regarding our renters, our worship, and our commitment to safeguarding all people. Please continue to check trusted sources for health news updates.

The time has come, out of an abundance of caution, to close our building to worship services, effective March 22 2020, until at least May 3, 2020. We will revisit this opening date on a weekly basis. This is not an easy decision to make, however, it is an important one because of the impact it will have on our neighbourhood to help curb the spread of covid-19. It is clear, through our health authorities, that the less contact we have, the faster we are able to get a handle on this virus. Gatherings like worship, although vital, are an area in which spread is enabled even with all of our precautions and increased cleaning.

So what does this mean for us, for our stewardship and ministry, our Christian education/meetings, and for pastoral visiting?

  • How can we worship?
    • Worship will be live streamed to you at home, using the online platform YouTube.  You will not need any special equipment, just a computer, speakers, and an internet connection. Links to the live stream, and hymn sheets will be available via our weekly email, and on our website. Click on the banner card as you arrive at the website to be taken to our YouTube channel.
  • What about our stewardship campaign?
    • We will pause our stewardship campaign scheduled for next week, for later this fall.
  • What about pastoral visiting to the care homes and our Neighbourhood Ministry?
    • I will continue to support Purdey Care Home for as long as it is safe to do so, for both our friends and us. Audrey and I at Purdey Care home have a plan in place to keep their residents connected to the parish and the sacraments. The NHM is making decisions about how to continue with ministry through this.
  • What about our Christian Education/ meetings?
    • We will be suspending in-person meetings out of an abundance of caution. For those involved in the “Signs of Life” sunday program, we will move to an online reflection. Parish Council will be a conference call, links will be sent by email to call into the meeting.

The wardens and I are working hard to develop best practices for the other side of this challenge, so that once we are given the all clear we can open immediately with invigorated ministry. One of the ways you can help us in that is to consider signing up for PreAuthorized Debit, or using the online givings section of our website for your weekly contributions, so that even if you are not at church for a short or long time, we will have the resources necessary to continue offering immediate ministry to those affected. Our Treasurer Emiliano, our Wardens or our Vicar can help set that up for you.

Remember, friends, we are one in the Body of Christ, which means no single person is alone in this. This challenge affects us all, and will raise all kinds of concerns and feelings within us. Fear is real right now, with a lot of unknowns, but fear will not win. I invite you to offer that fear over to God with me, as we come closer together to the cross of Christ, seeking the redemptive presence and healing of it in our lives today. The power of Christ’s cross overcame fear and replaced it with light, a light you and I are called to be in our world daily, but even more especially today in this time.

Be present for each other as that light. Stay calm and follow health authority protocols and instructions regarding hygiene and self management. Avoid hoarding food or resources, share with the abundance of Christ’s love where possible, and keep an eye out for the more vulnerable among us and seek help as appropriate, this is not the end of the world.

Please join me in prayer as we move forward into this season together. Pray for each other. Pray for me, as I pray for you. Pray for those affected by this. Pray for those treating this. Pray. I will be in touch again soon, as news changes. In the meantime, may the healing of God’s mercy, life, and love, be with you all.

See you on YouTube!