June 17th, 2020
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earthwere created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven,by making peace through the blood of his cross.
In Him, all things hold together...
We are now into our fourth month of social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and I imagine none of us thought this situation would go on this long! We have experienced four months of uncertainty, fear, a change in routine, and a lack of social interaction. Some of us have lost loved ones during this time,welcomed a new baby into the family, or celebrated a significant life milestone, and yet we have been unable to mourn or celebrate together as a church family.
And still the words of Jesus linger with us – “I am with you always, even to the end of the age”. These words strengthen us, inspire us, and give us courage to move through this current time with hope and confidence, knowing that we are not alone. Despite uncertainty, we are held together as individuals, and we are held together as Christ’s body on earth, the church.
So, with that hope and confidence, we want to take this opportunity to tell you how Christ has been holding things together for many of you and for St. Paul’s over the last few months. We have much for which to be thankful!
The Session has met several times over the last few months, both by telephone and through video conferencing. We have kept all of you in our prayers as well as the health of St. Paul’s. We have prayed for you, spoken with many of you on the telephone, and have endeavored to support you during these uncertain times.
We have also had discussions about how the current situation affects the community of St. Paul’s, and what our worshipping lives will look like in the future when we are again permitted to gather.
We are aware that there is movement afoot with respect to beginning to re-open the province, but we think it prudent to move forward cautiously. As we begin to widen our social circles, it would be wise to consider risk, safety and sustainability when it comes to reopening the church and gathering again for communal worship. We want to be sure our decisions are informed and responsible. And so we are in a bit of a ‘wait and see’ how the new few weeks of widening our social circles goes with respect to infection rates.
We are also thinking about how things will need to change when we do gather again. Some of the questions that are already being considered for worship gatherings include (but certainly aren’t limited to): will congregational singing be allowed? What about hymn books and bulletins and how will they be disinfected? What will the new cleaning protocols be? Will washrooms be available and how will they be kept disinfected? How will we maintain social distancing in and out of the building and provide proper signage and instructions? Will we be able to offer food or beverages? How will we ensure proper hand hygiene and the use of face masks? As you can see, there is a lot to consider and plan for! We are committed to keeping you safe and to following the regulations that are set out for us.
Board of Managers
The Board of Managers has also been hard at work to ensure that the property of St. Paul’s is well looked after and in good repair. They have worked diligently to make necessary repairs, paint window frames, deal with bee invasions, and tend the gardens. They are also ensuring that the bills are being paid and that as many of you as possible are able to continue to make your offerings through PAR. The pre-authorized remittance method of making your offering is of significant benefit to the church at this time, as it ensures that there is a regular income to count on.
Our profound thanks to the Board of Managers for their hard work and commitment to St. Paul’s!
We also want to extend a special thank you to Bruce and Rosemarie McNeil, and their daughter Allisa. As our custodians, they have gone above and beyond with their cleaning duties, and have added a number of odd jobs to their schedules to keep up with the maintenance of St. Paul’s. Thank you Bruce, Rosemarie,and Allisa!
Some of you will be eager to get back togethe ragain for worship and others of you may be hesitant and anxious about getting back out into the world again. Some of you will feel comfortable coming back to church earlier than others. Some of you will want to stay safe and socially distanced for sometime. Wherever you are at, remember that St. Paul’s is more than just the building where we gather together to worship, pray, and study the scriptures together. St. Paul’s is also the community of care and concern that are for one another. Whether you are at home or out and about, we are bound together as Christ’s body, by the same Spirit, and with the same responsibility for one another. If you would like prayers, please reach out to your elder or the Interim Moderator (Dana). If you are struggling, please let someone know. We are the church as long as Christ is our head and we are his people!
Over the last few months, many of you have found ways to keep your faith growing. Some of you are participating in online worship opportunities with other churches. Some of you are doing online or personal bible studies. And I’m sure all of you are praying! If you haven’t gotten connected with something that is feeding your faith and you would like to be, please get in touch with an elder or Dana and we will try to provide some resources for you. You may also find some of the links in the sidebar worth checking out!
Some Links to Check Out:
If you have found another resource that has been helpful for you, please feel free to share it on the blog. Get in touch with Linda Lamont formore details.
Get in touch:
Joanne Thompson: email@example.com
Trevor Hathaway: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred Clarkson: 534-1528
Wray Lamont: email@example.com
Chair, Board of Managers: Betty Munroe371firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: Linda Lamont: email@example.com
Stay tuned for more updates in due time. Until then, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always.
The Session of St. Paul’s, and Rev. Dana