We have now got through April in what will surely be recognized as a historic period of time in world history. Our COVID-19 “saga” began in January and grew in visibility and seriousness through February. March 5 marked our last “in-person” worship services before we were directed by our First Presidency to “suspend” services until the end of March, and then the end of April and now the end of May. The first issue of my “COVID-19” update was eight weeks ago on March 4.
We are now awaiting the beginning of the “re-opening of the economy” in some, but not all, jurisdictions across Canada. These easing of restrictions will not come in time to save our summer camping and retreat programs. I remain optimistic that they might come in time for us to gather in-person for our Mission Conference in Chilliwack – but obviously I can make no promises about that yet. Watch for e-conference arrangements if that becomes necessary.
I hope that you have been keeping well and that you have been keeping you and your families occupied during this time of self-isolation. I have no direct information about how many of you may have lost jobs. I do not know what other stresses may have become a part of your life since this all started. I can only pray that you are coping as well as possible. I also encourage you to reach out to your Pastor or Congregational Financial Officer or other trusted minister in your congregation if you need assistance of any kind or if you just need someone to talk to for a while.
Many congregations in Canada West Mission Centre have been offering alternative ministries ranging from more frequent email postings to intentional telephone ministry to weekly informal online gatherings to somewhat more formal Sunday morning video conferencing worship services via Zoom or Skype. In addition, I know that many people have been “tuning in” to the online services offered by the Toronto congregation on Sunday mornings and through the week. (For details check their webpage: www.centreplace.ca)
I want to be sure you are aware of a few other regular resources available to you:
And, just to ensure you know there is “Some Good News” out there, let me repeat this referral to a weekly video produced by actor John Krasinski. Really good fun that will bring a smile to your lips and maybe a tear of joy to your eyes. Give it a look.
Stay safe. Be well. God bless.
Canada West Mission Centre President
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537