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Please see notice below regarding our
response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 29th worship
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Friday March 13, 2020
Dear Erindale Family & Friends,
As a church we are called to love and care for each other, and part of that care right now includes doing our part to help ensure the safety of our church family and the community as a whole.
As this past week has unfolded, announcements have been made at what has sometimes seemed like an hourly rate. As I write this, both the cities of Toronto and Mississauga have all but shut down all public spaces and activities.
We as a church have been asked to help slow the spread of this virus by taking every precaution possible. The Erindale Session has concluded that it is in the best interest of our congregation to CANCEL all church gatherings INCLUDING Worship until at least April 5th.
We understand this may be difficult news to receive, as it is our calling as God’s people to worship together on Sundays: It is part of the rhythm of life and faith. Please know however, we continue to be here for you. The following are some ways Erindale is here to walk with you in this time:
First, we are praying for each one of you, especially those who are most vulnerable should they contract COVID-19 and those struggling with anxiety, isolation and loneliness in this stressful and fearful time.
Second, please know that you can reach out to Rev. Jen for pastoral care at any time. We are here for you. This is a challenging time for many people in our family of faith and we encourage you to reach out and support each other seeking to build up the Body of Christ.
Third, if you are unable or feel uneasy about going into stores to purchase your groceries or pick up your medications or other necessities, please call Rev. Jen and we will do our best to make sure you receive what you need.
Fourth, we will work on recording an adapted form of worship to be emailed out to you during this time.
Fifth, please let us know how you are doing. We will respond to you by phone or written correspondence. In fact, this kind of communication is encouraged between all of us. If you have any special prayer requests, we will be sure to share them.
Finally, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to email or call me (Rev. Jen) and I will respond as quickly as I am able.
Your leadership team will continue to serve in a variety of ways to support the ministry of Erindale, as long as it remains safe to do so. At this time regular office hours have been suspended. In light of the school closures for the next three weeks, Rev. Jen has suspended her week of vacation (March 16-22) so that she can be here to support you however she can.
When worship does resume, the following protocols will be in place:
Social distancing will be implemented at public worship, with people sitting and remaining 1 meter away from other worshippers
No passing of the peace and no sharing in the sacrament of Holy Communion will take place
There will be no coffee hour/sharing of food in the church building
No physical contact in the form of handshakes or hugs will be permitted
No offering plates will be passed in worship
We request that anyone who exhibits any physical health symptoms (fever, cough, trouble breathing) remain at home and not come to the church for ANY event, worship, meeting, ministry or gathering
We request that anyone who has traveled outside the province within the last 2 weeks, or in areas within the province where there is now noted exposure, carefully consider if it responsible and safe for you to attend any event, worship, meeting, ministry or gathering at the church
This is an unprecedented and unique moment in history, and we seek to act with clarity, compassion and care for our whole Erindale community.
May we rise to the occasion and support each other in being generous and loving. May we continue to be the hands and feet of Christ in this time and place.
We will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation and consult with both healthcare professionals and other local community leadership to determine what additional actions may be required to ensure the safety of our whole community.
With the cancellation of worship we invite all members of our church family to spend time reading scripture, praying in particular for those infected and front-line health care workers.
We also encourage everyone to give thanks for the many privileges we have as Canadians and Mississaugians even in the midst of this global pandemic.
As Jesus was preparing for his final ordeal, he spoke these words to his followers: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world gives, give I unto you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." (John 14:27)
I want to thank everyone for your patience and understanding during this unique moment.
May the peace of Christ be with you and carry you in this time.
Rev. Jen Sokolowsky & The Session of Erindale Presbyterian Church