Developments continue 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.
Our Archbishop shared with her clergy the contents of a phone call she had with Minister Adriene Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry, along with other faith leaders across the province. In it, Her Grace was reminded of the importance of our existing measures, and our continued need for vigilance going forward to offer a safe place for people. I want to thank everyone who continues to come for worship, and those who are choosing to stay home because of the unknown nature of this virus. It's so important that we both self monitor and follow the hygiene guidelines we are being given. Continue to frequently wash your hands, and avoid touching your ears, nose, mouth, or eyes.
While gatherings and worship are not yet suspended, the province has restricted gatherings larger than 250 people, and the Archbishop has asked us to prepare for the potential closure of the building to worship. The wardens and I, along with the Archbishop, hope that this is not the case, but the nature of this challenge means things are changing rapidly. So what does this mean for us, for those who can't come, our Christian education, and for pastoral visiting?
So does anything change? Yes, and No. Yes, it does in that we are preparing for something we hope that doesn't have to happen- closing our building. No, in that we will continue to worship as we are able from wherever we are able. As I said in my last note to you, when the world doesn't make sense, as Christians, we get on our knees and pray. I continue to ask you to join me in prayer and worship as the needs and scope of this virus change and grow.
The wardens and I are working hard to develop best practices for the other side of this challenge, so that in the event we have to close, 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 our secure online givings system 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. Remember there is enough for everyone, we are enough, and hoarding materials and food is not the answer to this challenge. Keep your eyes out for the more vulnerable around you, and share as you can with the abundance of Christ, to help others get through this too.
Be present for each other in prayer. Pray for this world and our city. 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.
With prayers and thanksgivings,
these lands upon which we worship as the ancestral, cultural, traditional and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people from time immemorial.