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

So, most of us are now two weeks into our mandated social and physical distancing and what once felt extraordinarily strange is beginning, for me at least, to feel dishearteningly familiar.  As the news around the world continues to lack optimism, I am struggling, to be honest, to keep at it with the same energy with which I began.  With that being said, I do find it heartening all the same, just to open up my computer and begin my letter to you all, for as I imagine you reading it, each in your own in separate location, I am filled with a real sense of having been blessed by God for the community in which I find myself, and by all the gestures of support that you continue to extend to me, and to each other.  We are blessed to have be thrown together during this time of being physically apart! Even as  God acts in His mysterious ways I am ever so thankful!

The News:

Planning for the Sunday service has become a bit more routine for the worship committee that formed at the beginning of this isolation.  We continue to do our best to try to be reliable even while we experiment and think outside the box.   We spent some time this week talking about Holy Week, which we all agree presents special challenges.  We know that whatever we can put together will still be very different from what we have seen in the past, So our wish is simply that Holy Week can be as meaningful as possible, while still being our best expression of our participation in the passion and resurrection of our Lord.  More news about services and times will come next week.

We will continue to focus on the 12:15 service of noon prayer each Wednesday, and one service of Morning Prayer on Sunday at 10:30.  The connections for the foreseeable future remain the same each week, as follows. 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 29:  10 am for families, 10:30. Morning prayer:
https://zoom.us/j/783940814

The Phone team

The phone team continues to do their best to keep in touch this week, but instead of trying to reach everyone this week, they have been targeting their calls towards those who need it the most.  If you have still not heard from anyone, perhaps this is a good time to notify the office, as we may need to update your contact information, as we have done for several members already. 

Again, we have still not heard of anyone in the congregation who seriously ill with this virus, though some report troubling news about family members, and some friends who have been affected.  I urge you to continue to keep each other in your prayers, as some are very concerned.

St. George’s staff and programs:

Your leadership team continues to meet and keep up to date with all the news that is coming out of Ottawa, and we continue to discuss how this impacts our own situation at St. George’s.  We continue to keep each one of our current employees occupied, and on their usual salary.  For those trying to keep up, it seems that the news about programs and subsidies changes daily.  So far, we are on a holding pattern, doing our best to use this time we have been given to make updates, and to strengthen our community bonds. 

Unfortunately, we have made the difficult decision to close all operations at the Drop-in centre, as Kosala was becoming increasingly concerned for his own welfare, and the welfare of those whom he was serving, even with the service reduced to the giving out of bag lunches.  With so few members on staff being prepared to come in to manage the centre, we felt that it was unsafe to continue.  Plans are underway, nevertheless, to re-open when we can gather again, and to have new policies in place to ensure the health and well-being of everyone involved.

 “Virtual Coffee hours”

This past week we have begun our virtual coffee hours to considerable success.  Personally, I have found it very enriching to have been able to get to know several church members who joined us, not only to put names to faces but to find out more about our members, and about the history of our church.  So far, these social times has been quite limited in number, which has worked out just fine.  Next week we might experiment with ending our evening hour with a short service of Compline. (10 minutes). Please feel free to drop in, find out what your neighbour is up to; the randomness of the process will inevitably allow you to meet someone who you have not gotten to know as yet and the effort will definitely be worth it!  Here is all the information you might need:
Afternoon Tea: Tuesday and Thursday at 4pm.
            After dinner drinks: Wednesday and Friday at 7pm.
Join Zoom Meeting  
https://zoom.us/j/231767905
Meeting ID: 231 767 905
One tap mobile  
+14388097799,,231767905# Canada  
+15873281099,,231767905# Canada

Blessings and know that you remain in my prayers always.

Karen+

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