March 14, 2020
Brothers and Sisters,
With the growing concerns around COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”), I again wanted to follow-up with you and your local congregations. Firstly, I would like to encourage us to remain prayerful for those in our faith communities, but also for all who have been affected by this virus, including our politicians, and city officials. Secondly, please do not subscribe to the fear and hysteria that surrounds coronavirus.
In Canada our government officials are responding to this health crisis daily, and the responses are fluid, meaning that it changes rapidly depending on the spread of the virus. We are Christians and we believe in the protective care of “The Good Shepherd,” Jesus Christ, however, I do think we need to be wise. As such I would like to recommend that until further notice, that we would comply with the recommendations made by our politicians and healthcare professionals.
They have recommended that we should not have large gatherings of more than 250 people. I would like to encourage us to follow that recommendation. I would like to also recommend that we only gather for Sunday morning worship and postpone any other services until further notice.
Kindly encourage our more vulnerable congregants, such as the elderly and those who are not well to stay home and pray. This may challenge us in the future to look at different ways to have church and to worship our Lord Jesus Christ.
Please note that our Niagara Ladies Retreat is cancelled, and more information will be forthcoming regarding next steps. Please continue to pray for Pastor Pringle and her staff, its been a very challenging time for them as they try to make the best decision possible to ensure the health of our ladies.
Bishop Sam Clements in his communication to us sates that plans are still being made for our upcoming General Assembly in July 2020. They will continue to closely monitor the situation and keep us updated as it pertains to the Assembly.
In the city of Montreal, most of our churches will be closed for the next two weeks in keeping with the recommendation of the politicians and healthcare officials. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed. Again, this is a time to remain prayerful and vigilant as we follow the health recommendations we sent out a few days ago.