A LETTER FROM THE PASTOR…
This morning I attended a “Town Hall” Zoom meeting with SK Synod officials (including a Pastor/Dr. Ali Tote - a PhD in Epidemiology - who has been guiding us from the beginning of the pandemic). In light of the recent radical upswing in Covid cases & given the general advice/trend toward being more responsible in limiting the contacts we all have, the recommendation is that “In-person” worship be suspended from now through to the end of January (to also give the extra cases due to Christmas gatherings a chance to quiet down).
This is, honestly, a more cautious plan than the government has recommended. They, however, have to respond to the breadth of religious sects in our province (some of which have more rigorous theologies about the need to worship in person). In our case because so many churches are doing such a faithful job of providing streaming options, and virtual programs, the sense is that we can model responsible behaviour and show our care for each other best by being more actively part of the solution. We know that this is especially disappointing as some of our favourite services come at Christmas time, but we endure these limitations because it is part of how we love one another.
To be even more clear… it is also critical to point out that THE CHURCH IS NOT CLOSED.. only the building is!! As part of our Bread of Life/St Paul’s* ministry & life together we WILL continue to gather for worship. Rather than doing so in the building though, we will do so via ONLINE STREAMING – on Facebook Live. We will continue to offer a variety of programs, Sunday school and studies.. via Zoom/Email etc. to those who are missing that. THIS COMING SUNDAY.. we invite you to ZOOM COFFEE right after the 9:30 Facebook worship service (approximately 10:15 – BOTH congregations are welcome). This is a chance for you to drop in and chat with people you maybe haven’t been able to see in a while. (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2409648121)
Even more critically.. we remember that our worship is also powerfully found IN OUR LIVES.. in how we worship God as we meet God in each other in the world. Compassion, gratitude, giving-of-self & grace as they are sung through our hands & love are every bit as beautiful as are the songs we sing with our vocal chords.
In the days ahead we will continue to develop ways to “get together” to celebrate Advent and Christmas in meaningful ways.. in spite of what may feel like limitations. Watch the Web page, Facebook page & these newsletters for information.
Finally… Advent is the season of patience AND IMpatience. We watch and wait for Messiah – for Christ to come to us again as He once came to Bethlehem. At the same time we itch for that fulfilment so restlessly that we are moved to action.. action that brings that healing & hope into our NOW in all the ways Christ takes on flesh in the love we share with others. Seldom has this been as clear for us all.
For now… Be Safe, Be Well, BE HOPE!!
Yours in Christ
Pastor Stewart Miller