Dear beloved friends,
I hope you are well, and that you are finding things to do at home that bring life and joy. I have been encouraged by the conversations I have had with you and relieved to find you well. I am also grateful for your emails; it is lovely to hear your news, just as though it were coffee hour. I am spending some time calling parishioners every day, but please do call if you would like to talk. My cell phone at home, where I am now working is 705-886-0057.
If you need help with grocery delivery or pharmacy pickups, there are parishioners who have kindly offered to do this. If you are feeling low, there are people to talk with. If you are sick, or enter quarantine, please do let us know. I am mindful that some of our parishioners are facing other challenges that are compounded by the state of emergency we are under. People have received news that surgeries are being cancelled. Others are worried about their jobs, and about loved ones abroad. It is important that we pray unceasingly for our community and for the world, and that we care for one another, strengthening the bonds of friendship in Christ. Our bishops are calling us to two prayer vigils this week. I hope you will consider joining as you are able:
DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING. The College of Bishops is inviting all people in the Diocese of Toronto to a day of prayer and fasting on Thursday, March 26, during the unfolding situation with COVID-19. Throughout the centuries, God’s people have joined in unified prayer across the world in times of need. In prayerful fasting, we are brought closer to the humble reality of our dependence on God in Christ for all things. We will send our the resources for prayer that day on Wednesday. Let us come together as a Diocese, each in our place, and pray as one, turning our hearts to God.
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER. Most Rev. Linda Nicholls, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has issued a national call to prayer. “All around us, while many are in quarantine or self-isolation, the church is blossoming with prayer. We are digging deep into the heart of our faith to lift our voices in the sure and certain knowledge that the Holy Spirit hears our intercessions, thanksgivings and even our groans. Please join me in a national day of prayer on Sunday, March 29 (Lent 5), as we join the Anglican Communion in a day of prayer for repentance—to pray for the whole Communion and for the whole world engulfed in COVID-19. Tune in live to join me in prayer on Sunday, March 29 at 7pm (EDT) on the Anglican Church of Canada Facebook page or whenever is best for you (following the broadcast).”
Here in our parish, worship continues through Facebook Live. I realize some of you are not on Facebook. If that is because you don’t know how to set it up, there are people in the parish who can help you do that. Let us know. You don’t have to join Facebook to join the worship services. Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/St.GeorgesAnglicanChurch/
Here is the worship schedule:
Sunday – Morning Prayer 10 am
Tuesday through Saturday – 8 am Morning Reflection and prayers and 8:30 pm Night Prayers (Compline)
Please send prayer requests to Helen at the office, so that we can pray for them during our services.
You can join the livestream for these services at the time of broadcasting or at another time. The videos are also being posted permanently here on the website.
We are using Zoom for bible study (Thursday at 7 pm) , and for Friday Coffee Hour (at 10 am). Members of the parish are planning other special events to be held over Zoom, including a meet-up for kids and youth. Renee Reeves is working on a plan to deliver Sunday School lessons to our families. You will always get an email notification with instructions for attending these events.
Are you longing to hear the organ and sing the hymns we love?
Your chance is coming. Surinder is going live on Facebook, on
Wednesday March 25th, to lead us in a good old fashioned hymn sing.
Watch for an email with further details, with words included.
Finally, I invite you to take a look around our website. It is up to date and easy to use. There are resources, information from the Diocese and pastoral letters from me. I am aware that there are people in our parish who are not online, and we are trying to stay in close touch with them. If you know someone like this, I encourage you to call and say hello. Self-isolation can be lonely, especially for those living alone.
Let me close by saying how encouraging it is to see how you are continuing to be a community of hope, prayer and mission even as we cannot gather face to face. As we abide by the advice given by our leaders and health care professionals to stay home and take precautions, we know that it is not just for ourselves; we are loving our neighbours, and saving lives. May God bless you and those you love, and may Christ’s peace reign in our hearts.
Yours in Christ,