March 17, 2020
Re: Good Shepherd Church suspends all group activity and events effective immediately
Dearest Good Shepherd Family,
Like you, I see the ever-changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and the impact it has on our day-to-day lives, our families, communities, governments and the Church and I share your concern and prayers at this difficult time in our history. It pains me to see the suffering of those in China, Italy, Iran, here at home and the world over. As the people of God, during this pandemic it is an important act of love to do what we can to prevent the spread of the disease, and protect one another, including the most vulnerable among us.
As you may know, the Ontario Government declared a State of Emergency in the province this morning. With this in mind, and on the directive of our Diocese, Good Shepherd Church will immediately suspend all group activities and face-to-face meetings for at least the next three weeks. This includes all bible study groups, the Alpha program, board and committee meetings, prayer meetings, and Sunday worship services up to and including Palm Sunday. The Holy Week Services are tentative at best. It is my hope that we are able to reconvene to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord together on Easter Sunday. Additionally, all in-person nursing home and home visits which are not urgent are also suspended. In the meantime, I will keep in touch with our people by phone.
Thanks to technology and the advancement of electronic communication, it’s possible to stay together in faith. I will send you resources for worship and reflection at home. Your Executive will continue to meet electronically to carry on with the business of GSC. We are exploring ways of using online technology to bring GSC to you. We will keep you in the know.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4.18) We do not want anyone to feel lonely, frightened or isolated. Please reach out. Watch out for one another, make phone calls and check in on each other, especially the most vulnerable among us. Check in on neighbours who might be hit hard right now; ask them if they need help with groceries, yard work, or other needs. Be the light of the world. And please follow the health measures put in place to slow the spread of the virus and protect yourself.
I know these are alarming times. But remember we have a sovereign God, whose rod and staff guide and comfort us, and who abundantly provides for us. Remember Him who can do infinitely more than we ask or imagine – even now, today. Believe in God to guide and sustain us.
May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God. And of his Son, Jesus, our Lord. And may God’s blessing – Father, Son, and Spirit – be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
More to come.