As many of you now know, on March 16, 2020, Bishop Logan McMenamie ordered all churches in the diocese closed for all public use, including worship, for sixty (60) days, effective immediately.
Many of us and our community will be preparing for an unknown period of separating ourselves physically, in order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 infection. For some, this comes with a greater or lesser degree of fear. For some, confusion. For some, the prospect of increased loneliness and isolation.
However, as I wrote recently in the email newsletter this past Friday, “God still walks alongside us. In fact, one of the rock solid Truths of our faith is that God cares deeply for all of us and never abandons us, even—perhaps especially—in dark times. And this deep well is our source of courage, from which flows our compassion for our neighbour.”
So, what now?
Practically speaking, all face-to-face gatherings at St Mary’s are suspended for the next 60 days, including all services of worship, concerts, study groups and the Churchmouse Bookshop.
However, that does not mean that our means of staying connected, compassionate, and even creative are exhausted! It may take a few days for us to get all the details ironed out, but St Mary’s, along with our sister parishes in our diocese and especially our Mother parish, Christ Church Cathedral, are all working to provide opportunities:
So, please keep checking back, and if you haven’t already done so, subscribe to our email newsletter (see the bottom of every page on the website), as we will send out new information as it becomes available.
I like how my colleague, The Reverend Elizabeth Barnard at St George the Martyr, Cadboro Bay, has put it:
It may feel like we’re in darkness, but we’re not alone in the darkness. God is with us, and we’re together – bound together by the love of God which crosses all barriers, all boundaries, all fears. We may be in the dark, but we’re together, and God knows how to work in the dark as well as the light.
“I will give you treasures hidden in dark and secret places. Then you will know that I, the Lord God of Israel, have called you by name.” (Isaiah 45:3)