Good morning all,
Thank you for your calm and measured response to the crisis we are all facing at this time. I have appreciated your messages of support and encouragement as well as your offers to assist those in need in the coming weeks. There was a modest crowd in attendance at our worship service on Sunday who followed all the appropriate precautions and maintained social distance. The solidarity demonstrated by our congregation is inspirational. Now, I ask for that same solidarity as we take the next best step based on the information we have at the moment.
EFFECTIVE TODAY (Monday March 16), we will CANCEL worship services scheduled to be held on March 22 and March 29. It is our hope that we may be able to worship together again on Sunday April 5 (Palm Sunday). However, we will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed if today’s decision needs to be extended.
In addition, the Board of Managers has decided that (1) the church building is closed to outside groups and (2) the church building remain open for use by staff for their on-going duties. At this point, most of our outside groups have cancelled or postponed their gatherings for the time being anyway.
With regard to St. Andrew’s activities, this decision means that there will be NO Choir practices or Thursday Morning Bible Study during this period. The Lenten Seminar scheduled for March 28 will also be POSTPONED.
I reiterate my encouragement to reach out to each other and staying connected. To that end, Shainna will be checking messages and be available during this time Tuesday through Friday from 930AM – 1130AM. If you are able to assist others, do let Shainna know. And if you are in need of assistance (picking up groceries, prescriptions, etc), please call Shainna so that she can put you in contact with someone who has offered to assist. The Church Office phone number is: (519) 822-4772 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Obviously, this is not an emergency service – if you need immediate assistance please contact the appropriate services.
I will be working on offering some spiritual content and connection via our website (www.standrewsguelph.com) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/StAndrewsGuelph/). Below is the video of the message that I delivered on Sunday related to our response to COVID-19. I’m looking forward to the chance to experiment a little with this technology. I hope you will enjoy it as we play!
Thanks again for your support as we make these decisions for the sake of our members and the wider community. It is important for us to do our part to #FlattentheCurve as we are being encouraged by the Health authorities.
Keep informed but not overwhelmed. Do keep up to date through the WDG Public Health website (https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/novel-coronavirus-covid-19), the City of Guelph (https://guelph.ca/2020/03/city-of-guelph-responding-to-coronavirus/) and the Government of Canada (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html). Check in on these sources regularly but again, not obsessively. Take time to do something else – get outside, watch a favourite show/movie, read a book – The Bible (you’ve got time!), sit quietly, call a friend, paint, create, clean up… lots to do!
Stay connected (at a distance) and stay healthy.Continue to be kind and compassionate to one another.We will get through this together with God’s help.
Grace and peace, John.
Rev. John Borthwick Minister | St. Andrew’s Guelph