Mar15SunRead Sunday, March 15 March 15, 2020
Dear St. Matthews family and our wider community,
This week the World Health Organization declared the Coronovirus to be a pandemic. Covid - 19 has now come closer to home and we feel it is now our responsibility to take greater precautions as recommended by Health Canada .
Your Pastoral Team and Board of Directors wrestled with the decision yesterday and made the decision to cancel worship at St. Matthews until April at which time we will reevaluate.
This decision was made not out of fear but out of civic responsibility to help flatten the curve through social distancing. The unfolding implications of the Coronovirus in our local and global communities is deeply concerning especially for the most vulnerable in our midst.
Now is the time to be responsible about social distancing. In so doing, we are standing in solidarity with one another around the world to decrease the spread of the virus.
Churches are one of the few remaining intergenerational communities remaining in the world. The beautiful thing is that we have people from the age of one year and into their nineties. As statistics have told us, our elders are more vulnerable to the transmission of Covid 19. In our congregation there are many in this age range as well as some young ones running around who don’t understand social distance.
While we remain calm and measured in the face of uncertainty of how this will unfold and who will be affected, we are reminded of the numerous times in scripture God says, Do not fear for I am with you. We remind ourselves that the Lord is our sure help in times of trouble. A God who is abounding in steadfast love.
In the weeks and months to come it might be the case that we all know someone impacted by the virus. We hope this is not the case. Yet our lives have already been altered. We are forced to go about life in a different manner. Let us be creative about making connections with our fellow brothers and sisters to support each other during this challenge. We hope and pray that these drastic measure will shut down the spread.
During times of confusion and isolation it is natural to be anxious and nervous about the present and future. At St. Matthews, we endeavour to maintain a spiritual connection with you during this time of interruption when we cannot be physically together. We are fortunate to have our radio broadcast available to connect us spiritually during this time. This will continue and we’ll be discussing other ways to stay connected in the next days.
Consider limiting your time listening to the news. Although it is good to stay informed, too much is not good for our mental health. Take a break and limit the amount of time you spend focussed on this. Pick certain times of the day to receive updates. The Government of Canada and Ontario websites are update daily at 10:30 am and 5:30 pm. Much helpful information can be found there. The WHO website has factual information. Consider having a buddy or another family to talk with on the phone each day.
Wash your hands. Distance socially. Get outside. Breathe the air. Create something beautiful. Converse on the phone. Worship at home like the early church. Sing a hymn. Open your bible together. Pray together. Abide with God as God will abide with you. May you find deep peace and connection with God during these moments of abiding to see us through the challenge.
We ask you keep us informed if you are in need. Do you need support? Are you self isolating?
You can reach your Pastors and Deacon by email or phone. We will support you to the best of our ability during this time as will the Board of Directors.
Yours in Christ,