Covid 19 Update
 

March 17, 2020 (updated March 26, 2020)

 

Dear St. Andrew’s, United Church

 

Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen constant news about the Covid 19 Coronavirus outbreak around the world. This letter is an update about what St. Andrew’s United Church intends to do as our response to the outbreak.

 

In the past few days, the information and changes have been rapidly changing. Schools will be closed, large venue gatherings cancelled, and now the Ontario Government has declared a state of emergency. This is an effort to contain the virus and slow the spread of infections in the population.

 

I encourage all of you to not panic, to not fear and live as well as you can. I encourage you to pray for assurance of God.

 

This scripture from Acts 4: 31-33 speaks well for where we are at.

 

“While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence. The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.”

 

St. Andrew’s continues to be a congregation that care and supports one another. We stand together united by God’s love and resilience.

 

On March 15th we held worship as we usually do. There were few in attendance as we encouraged people to stay home if feeling ill, if they are immunocompromised, or elderly and feeling at risk.

 

After worship, our church board has made the decision to cancel in person worship services until further notice but we will be evaluating what will happen in the future as we see changes develop and when it is safe to resume worship again. 

 

We are live streaming worship services on March 29th and going forward.

Since we will not be gathering in person we encourage our members and adherents to continue giving the the church through online means such as Canada Helps, P.A.R., E transfer’s and a mailed cheque directly to the church. 
 
To donate to the church through Canada Helps click this link here 
 
To donate through E transfer contact our Treasurer Brian Heinmiller and he can direct how to do that. his email is brian.j.heinmiller@gmail.com 
 

Our church office will be closed for the time being, and we encourage all St. Andrew’s group are postponed. Our main renters have chosen to suspend their operations during this time.

We do not close the church and cancel services lightly. These are unprecedented times. We are doing so as a safety precaution for our most vulnerable people and because we are encouraged to not meet in person by health officials.

 

If you are looking for pastoral visits, I will not be conducting personal visits, unless absolutely necessary, no nursing or seniors home visits will be done. If you need support, I encourage you to call me and we can talk on the phone or email me. I will respond as best I am able to. If you are staying home and require help with running errands to the grocery store or for medications, please let me know and we will find people to assist you.

 

In times of crisis, we know that our faith community is often the first-place people turn to for support, particularly if the emergency has widespread health implications. Yet the very nature of being a community adds an increased level of risk if the emergency involves the spread of a respiratory (droplet) infection. This is a quickly changing environment and we need to look out for one another.

 

We have been closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and, following advice from Health Canada and the United Church of Canada, we are taking appropriate steps to ensure we keep our congregation, staff , and event attendees as safe as possible.

 

General precautions now in place, including a hand washing station located at the main entrance door. Surfaces are being wiped more regularly. We encourage you to stay home if you feel ill and to wash your hands more frequently.

 

I wish you good health and safety during this difficult time.

 

Blessings,

 

Grant