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Hello, everyone. Grace and Peace be with you, wherever you are right now. I'm just checking in on a drizzly Saturday afternoon, and looking forward to Sunday worship in a new way. Watch the video for the full message, but here are the highlights:

It’s been quite a week for us all. I hope this finds you safe and healthy, and finding ways to keep in touch with those you love. I am grateful for the help of our pastoral team of Dyan Davison and John Macquarrie, and our lay pastoral care team as they’ve made phone calls and checked in on folk.

I’m also grateful for the work of our Cathedral and my clergy colleagues across these Islands and Inlets, as we’ve shared the load of offering daily readings and prayers. You can find those as they come available on our own website in the Events section.

Over this past week our church building has become more and more empty as Marianne and Curt and I have prepared to do our work entirely from home. It’s meant some changes in our routines, but we are learning as we go.

Tomorrow morning—the Fifth Sunday in Lent—we will try something new: sometime before 10:00am, visit the parish website, where you will find a video to guide us all in worship together, including readings and prayers and music from some familiar faces at St Mary’s.

Then, at 10:30, if you’re willing and able to give it a try, there will be a web link to follow where you can join us for our first Virtual Coffee Hour, via the Zoom app that you may have heard of in the news lately. If you haven’t used Zoom yet, it might take a little getting used to, but we will all do our best to help each other along. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be glad to see each other’s faces once again after two weeks of separation!

Meanwhile, I want to leave you with this thought from one of our readings for tomorrow, from the Book of the prophet Ezekiel. The prophet speaks God's words of assurance to a people in exile, who feel that their distance from their spiritual homeland means they are also cut off from God:

The people say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back...
—Ezekiel 37. 11–12

We might be cut off from one another, and we might not be able to visit the building of St Mary’s, but God remains with us, and will animate our lives in new ways until we can meet together again.

Canon Craig+