24th March 2020

Being Church Together During Our “New Normal”

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

This has been quite a week. I really missed being with you to worship together on Sunday. I thought it might be helpful if I shared a few things that have been on my heart and mind.

The words of our sacred scripture remind us that God’s promise to us and our relationship with God are more firm than anything on earth.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews in chapter 13 says this

“For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

We are facing that reality right now. It is clear all around us that things are changing in ways we never imagined . We are being asked to take extraordinary measures to protect our loved ones, our neighbours, our friends, our health service’s front lines, and ourselves. I implore you to do what you have been asked, not because those are the rules, but because the rule of Love means we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. We must protect one another and we must care more about the common good than our own convenience, comfort, and desires.

Now more than ever, we need God’s love and help. Please join me on St. Chad’s Facebook page at 7 p.m. tonight for a live streaming service of Compline (Night Prayers) for Healing and Peace. We will be offering this service t at 7 p.m. every night through Sunday. Together, we will pray for the intentions of those gathered (virtually) and those who have sent in requests via email to my email address: [email protected]

There is no lasting city. There is no thing we humans can build that always was, is, or will be. But there is one who is everlasting, who never changes, and it is He, Jesus Christ, that we worship. And maybe we cannot go to our beautiful church to raise our voices and praise Him. We are not able to gather for that most sacred of rites, the Holy Eucharist.

Undoubtedly, much has chanced. But God has not changed. As we hear earlier in that same chapter of Hebrews, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” And we who love and serve him must continue to worship, to say our prayers, to lift up our hearts to the Lord together. Even as we observe physical distance, we must draw even closer to God and to one another.

In the coming days, our church will continue to communicate with you regarding opportunities for worship, fellowship, and learning, albeit at a physical distance. We will continue to strengthen our community, support our vulnerable neighbours within and beyond our congregation, and in all things Love and serve the Lord. Please let us know how we can help. You are not alone.

I love you and our parish stand with you. Most of all God loves you and will be with you—always.

Let us continue to hold fast to all that is good and may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among us and remain with us always. Amen.

Blessings and love,

Mother Peters