Dear Friends in Christ,
“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body.” (Colossians 3:14-15)
As a Church we are needing to make some important decisions regarding doing what is loving and for the greater good of all our neighbours given the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. Today, March 16, 2020, British Columbia received a new directive from Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, limiting public gatherings to no more than 50 people. At Church of the Cross we want to do our part in limiting the spread of the virus in a constantly changing landscape.
As a result we will be cancelling mid-week Lenten and Sunday worship, as well as church programming, for the next two weeks, up to and including March 29. In an effort to offer clear and consistent communication we are cancelling all church programming unless otherwise indicated. This includes all board and committee meetings. Essential gatherings including church council will meet in order to re-assess how best to respond, taking into consideration updated directives as they are announced.
We also plan to do the following:
Worship on-line & via posts:
Offer participation in worship both on-line and via social media posts sharing worship resources. We are evaluating what we can offer in terms of on-line worship, including live-streaming worship. We thank you for your patience and will clearly communicate how you can participate once we know what we can offer. We will also send materials in the mail to those who do not have access to the internet.
We will also be offering an at home Lenten family activity that will be shared for Sunday.
While we will not be gathering for prayer Tuesday morning at 8:30 AM, we will be taking prayer requests via e-mail, FaceBook, Instagram, and leaving a message on the church voicemail (250-477-6222).
In an effort not to close our doors completely during this time, we will be making space available for individual prayer and pastoral support in the sanctuary, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 AM to 12 PM. We continue asking those who are feeling ill to stay home and for folks participating to maintain physical distancing.
Luther Court: we are providing pastoral support to residents at Luther Court, including exploring ways for residents to continue participating in worship.
For the homebound and for everyone:
We are assessing ways in which we can support those who need help with groceries and medicines delivered to their door. We also want to find ways in which we can connect with all members of the church and wider community at Church of the Cross, to offer friendship in the midst of social isolation. What are positive ways we can affirm love and social connection, while maintaining physical distance? We will be asking for each of you to consider contributing to this wider ministry in some way during this time.
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
This is an opportunity for us to grow closer together in faith and service. Together we continue rooted in Christ, living into our baptismal calling committed to love and grace.
The peace of Christ be with you,
Joanne Solomonson, Council Chair
Pr. Lyle McKenzie & Pr. Lyndon Sayers, Co-pastors