Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the Canada West Mission Centre.
Today I am going to trust that you are getting your fill of information from the media about the COVID-19 situation in your province and across the country and, indeed, around the world. Today alone (Wednesday) we have had further economic situations occur and a closing of the Canada-U.S. border to discretionary visitors in both directions. I am not going to deal with specific details of the situation in this statement.
Instead, I wish to talk to you as the human and spiritual beings that all of us are. How are you doing? No, really, how are you doing? How have you been affected by the governmental responses to the COVID-19 situation so far? Are you working from home? Are your children home from school? Are you missing direct contact with friends and neighbours – perhaps even visits with loved ones living in care-homes with restrictions on visitors now? Are you sick? Are you self-isolating? Are you keeping your spirits up? Or are your spirits a bit low as you consider your own situation or the situations of those around you?
Thank you to the Pastors, and their congregations, who responded to the direction of Community of Christ leadership late last week and suspended worship services and other activities at our congregational buildings across the mission centre for the next three weeks. This was not an easy thing to do. We are still the “chatter-day saints” and we love to gather – to visit, to share testimonies and stories and prayer needs, to catch up, to shake hands and to hug, to celebrate and to comfort. We love to gather because we love each other and it is hard to not gather. But let me be clear: at this time we must not gather in our congregations or our social times or our service groups. It is for our own health and for the health of those around us that we must not gather. Not for now. Hopefully not for long. But, certainly, not for now.
Please find other ways to connect and share with each other. Phone each other. Email each other. Text each other or use social media. Find ways to ensure that those who we know depend on Sunday mornings for their social “fix” hear from friends through the week. This may well be your seniors, but don’t forget those who live alone, maybe your young adults, and even those who may be feeling confined to their house, especially those with children home from school. Congregations are experimenting with “virtual” services online – not just Toronto and Edmonton. This can help everyone still feel connected. Please join in. (Let me know if your congregation is giving this a try.)
Let me leave you with two things to consider: First, an entertaining reminder to “don’t be a spreader”: Mel Brooks and Social Distancing (scroll down to find the video and make sure you make it full-screen. Second, some tips on Caring for Self and Others in Times of Trouble.
Finally, if you want to tell me “how you’re doing” – please email me! We’ll talk! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Grace and Peace,
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