To all members of the congregation of St. George’s Place du Canada,

It is hard to believe that only a week has passed since my last letter to the congregation, and it seems like even so much longer since we have lived “life as usual”. And even though we have spent a very unusual week, still we have kept in touch with each other, and prayed for each other daily. I thank God every day for the way that you are taking care of each other. We are truly a congregation formed in the love of Jesus.

The News :
We are again planning a service of Morning Prayer to be held over Zoom this Sunday at 10:30, (but 10:00 for children and families). This time we have had a little more time to prepare, so there will be more music, and a capacity to welcome more people. I look forward to it, and we hope it will be a time of both prayer and reassurance. For those of you who would like to join, all you need to do is to click on the link below, and turn on your audio and video, and you will be a participant. If you have never done it before, please don’t be intimidated, it is quite intuitive. In addition, Tim Pennings has agreed to be our tech support, and he will be there to Help you if you need it.

St Georges Service. Sunday March 22: 10 am for families, 10:30. Morning prayer:
https://zoom.us/j/783940814
To connect by phone, dial: 438-809-7799Enter the meeting No.  783940814 followed by the #

The Phone team
Over the last week we have been very successful in forming a very dedicated phone team who have managed to get in touch with virtually every member on the parish list. I very happy to report that people are doing well, and that as of today we have not heard of anyone who is ill with this virus. In fact, the team came back with multiple reports of people helping people, of people keeping in touch with friends and congregation members who are self-isolating, and simply of people concerned with others. God must be so very pleased. At the same time, if you are in need, we have multiple offers of people willing to do shopping or other errands who are willing to step in, so do not hesitate to call Carole in the office to ask. We are there for each other.

St. George’s staff and programs :
At this time, we have chosen to not lay off any of our employees and are doing our best to ensure that our staff can work from home as much as possible. In many cases this has been simple, Carole has managed to set up a workstation at home, and has direct access to the email, and can pick up all phone messages several times a day. Lora our bookkeeper is working from home, and going in occasionally (being very careful) to check the files and for the mail. Unfortunately, for other staff that is not possible. For example, our Drop-in centre cannot be kept going from home! At the same time, we have decided that it is impossible, given our limited staff, to keep it open as usual, though our heart was telling us it is important to continue to serve our guests, who count on us. For that reason, we have decided to close the Drop-in centre and change over to providing bag meals to our guests just outside the office door. In that way, we can ensure that Kosala is able to exercise the necessary “social distancing” while still offering food to those so very much in need. This week we have given out more than 60 meals a day, rain or shine!

For the time being, we will carry on as we have planned, though we are very concerned that in time, we will be facing some very serious financial difficulties. For those of you who continue to support our church by PAR, we are very thankful for this. And if you are in a situation where your PAR donation must be reduced because of your reduced income, please get in touch with Carole, and she will do her best to reduce or cancel your donation in these difficult times. If you are wondering how to continue your support of St. Georges at this time and you are not on PAR, you have two options, the first being email transfer, using the accounting@st-georges.org , and the second is to use the regular mail and send your donation to the church office, where your mail will be picked up regularly. At this time are certainly not asking for anything over and above your usual commitment, and we very thankful for the many ways that you have been able to support St. Georges in the past. I thank God each day for the generosity of the members of St. Georges.

New: Being Planned “Virtual Coffee hours”
In the coming week we are planning to set up a few times where congregation members will be able to check in with each other via zoom. For now, we are calling them “ virtual coffee hours”. Our zoom account allows us to set up regular meetings each week, and soon you will be given the links to check in as you are inclined. How about afternoon tea? How about after dinner drinks together — but apart? We are in the initial stages of that project, so stay tuned. Let us know if you have any special requests for meetings and we will do our best to organize them with you.

This week has been a week unlike any other that I have ever experienced, yet we have all worked hard to do our best to stay in touch with each other and offer our assurances. We do not yet have any idea of when we will get back to normal, though increasingly it looks like weeks or months, rather than days. I continue to hold you each in my prayers, assured always by the wideness of God’s mercy towards the whole of creation, including every member of St. George’s. Please take care and take care of each other always.

I hope to see you Sunday!
In Christ


Karen+
Trust in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock! Isaiah 26:4