What’s happening at St. Andrew’s-Chalmers
Dear Family and Friends of St. Andrew’s-Chalmers:
What a difference a few days makes! I pray that you are all well during this unprecedented time when we are “physically distancing” ourselves to stop the spread of the virus. In these difficult times it is so important to lean on God’s Eternal Word and the promises of God. God promises to “never leave us or forsake us,” God will be “with us always, to the end of the age”, that the Lord walks with us.
I am writing today to keep you informed of the evolving situation at St. Andrew’s-Chalmers and communicate the decisions that have been made by the Session to help “flatten the curve” of transmission of Covid-19. None of these decisions are motivated by fear or anxiety, but rather by love and a desire to care for one another responsibly during such a time as this.
In response to our growing understanding our the situation we find ourselves in, here is a listing of decisions made for St. Andrew’s-Chalmers at this time. Please note that all cancellations are to be considered “until further notice”:
- Worship gatherings/Ladies Association/Social Events cancelled – Following the Government of Ontario’s decision to declare a state of emergency and to ask that churches close until further notice, all activities at the church including the Ladies Association on Tuesday, March 24th and the Social Evening for cards on Saturday, March 28th is cancelled.
- Online Scripture Readings, Sermons, Prayers – We will continue to offer prayer, scripture readings, announcements, and sermons which will be pre-recorded and posted to our YouTube channel and to the Facebook page. These will be made available each week on Sunday mornings at 10 am. You can watch them anytime, but they will be posted on Sunday mornings so that you can maintain your Sunday morning habit of attending worship at St. Andrew’s-Chalmers
- Rev’s hours – I am trying to do my part by staying home as much as possible. However, please know that I am actively contacting each of you and am available by email, phone and text. If you would like to call me for any reason, please call me on my cell phone at 647-883-7201 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would also be happy to connect with you “face to face” via online video conferencing if you would like to do that. Just let me know and we can “meet” at a mutually convenient time.
- Staff hours – Brenda will be working from home and continually checking the email and voice message. She will be in Tuesday’s from 9 am to 10 am and Friday from 11 am to 12 pm. There will be a box available for people to drop off their regular offering in order that the church can meet it’s on-going operational expenses during this unprecedented time. If you are unable to come by you may choose to click the donate button at the top of this email. Of course, if you have any cold/flu symptoms, we would ask you to NOT come into the church at all and to self-isolate as mandated by all levels of government at this time.
- Food Bank – One exception to all of the cancellations and closures is the weekly food bank. In this time of heightened need, we will open our doors to continue offering help to the more vulnerable members of our community through the food bank. Food bank volunteers have implemented new procedures to severely limit contact (e.g. one person at a time, food packages prepared in advance, “physical distancing”, etc.). Please pray for food bank friends and clients.
Each of us are making sacrifices in terms of our routines, habits, and schedules. It is inspiring to hear about what is being done in our community and country in real time so that we protect each other and flatten the curve of this virus. Keep up the Good Work! Although things are on hold in terms of the physical church building at 40 Toronto Street South, we still have on-going operational expenses. And yet our church community is very active and busy reaching out with care as the Body of Christ in unique and creative ways. In speaking to some of you and hearing your stories, you are continuing to:
- live life to the fullest
- go for walks and get outside and saying hi from a distance
- meet online and over the phone with church friends and family to encourage one another
- pray for your church, community, health workers, grocery clerks, government officials
- read your devotions and passages from the Bible
- check in your neighbours picking up supplies if needed
- do the little things that show you care for others
- follow government advice but not succumbing to fearful thinking
These small things that you are doing as the church can make a big impact on our community around us! The following ways the church and its volunteers are making a difference are: