We continue to follow Christ, even as we stay at home
Dear friends in Christ,
I missed you all last week. It is a strange time indeed when we cannot gather together to praise God and break bread together as the body of Christ.
That said, we did post a message on our Youtube channel and Facebook account and we plan to do so again this week – supplemented with a few more prayers and some songs. For those of you managing children at home, we have a special post with resources and ideas.
Thank you to everyone who tuned in – last Sunday’s message did 75% better than most of our Facebook posts with numerous views in that medium, and we had 37 views of my message on our Youtube channel – which has since climbed to 48. Even if we cannot meet in person, we are still reaching the faithful. I thank you for your dedication and devotion to the parish.
As I shared last week – for those of you who are still able – I ask you to consider your faithful contributions to the church even during this time of closure.
Financial gifts will still be received online through the secure Canada Helps account at: www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/st-bedes-church/
Or via e-transfer directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. No password is needed.
Since this time last week things in our world continue to change: Canada’s borders are closing and all non-essential stores have been asked to close in Toronto. For many it is a time of anxiety and uncertainty. Yet as Christians we are called upon to remember that “Do not be afraid” is the most frequently repeated command in the whole Bible. Regardless of what might happen we place our faith and trust in Jesus trusting that his grace is sufficient for us and that he will indeed hear our prayers and help us.
If you would like to keep up with how the wider Anglican Church is responding I encourage you to visit the diocesan website at toronto.anglican.ca
Bishop Andrew has recently communicated that he will write a letter each Monday, Wednesday and Friday containing the latest updates about how our Diocese is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also include inspiring stories from our parishes, of which there are many.
The college of bishops are inviting all people in the Diocese to a day of prayer and fasting on Thursday, March 26. Resources, including suggestions of prayers to use throughout the day, will be made available on Monday. Archbishop Linda Nicholls has also called all Canadian Anglicans to a day of prayer on Sunday, March 29. Let us take every opportunity to pray for one another, and for our world, during this difficult time.
This Lent I have also issued the parish the challenge of reading the Gospel of Matthew and I know many of you are doing just that. If you are not – and find yourself now with some extra time on your hands, or anxiety in your hearts – I invite you to join us. We will be meeting virtually to discuss on Wednesdays but I also thought I’d share with you some reflection questions from the Gospel to help us tune our hearts more to Jesus and help us grow our faith when so much else seems to be closing. It will be placed on the parish website shortly.
We may not be able to change the situation we find ourselves in, but we can choose how we wish to deal with it. As people of faith, I encourage you to pray, to reflect on the words of scripture and to remember God’s deep and abiding love for us even in the midst of hardship. I am available if you ever want to talk – please feel free to reach out. And may God bless you, keep you and sustain you at this time,