Church building closed. all programming and in-person worship suspended.
Church building closed. All programming and in-person worship suspended.
This is a challenging time.
People and governments across the world are taking unprecedented steps to contain COVID-19 — companies and offices are altering work environments or shutting down entirely, borders have closed, and strict quarantine measures have been introduced in entire countries. Our own Region of Waterloo community has introduced significant measures that many will find difficult noting that “everyone in Waterloo Region can help to protect our most vulnerable.”
We continue to adapt our ministry and operations as St. Peter’s and the wider community implement practices designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and we want to take a moment to say thank you for your patience and goodwill.
I am proud that the St. Peter’s Community continues to rise to the occasion of ministering in a shifting landscape, putting the health of the community first, and doing its part to flatten the curve. As a reminder, this includes:
- Not leaving your home if you are sick, have a cough, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea or other symptoms of viral illness. Except if you have been advised to do so to seek medical care.
- Practicing good hand hygiene – wash your hands with soap and water for 25 seconds, using plenty of friction and rinse and dry well with disposable towels.
- Avoiding touching your eyes and face – this prevents germs from entering your body through eyes, mouth and nose and causing infection.
- Coughing or sneezing into your sleeve; use a disposable tissue to blow your nose and throw it in the garbage immediately after use (do not keep it in your pocket or sleeve for use later on!!)
- Particularly now, practicing social distancing. Social distancing means maintaining distance from others (two arms’ length or 2 meters).
These very basic practices are very effective in reducing the amount of illness that circulates in our communities and represent the best way for everyone to participate in controlling the spread of viral illness. Should you find yourself with symptoms of illness, and are concerned, please contact your health care provider by phone for assessment and further instruction.
As you know, we have suspended all St. Peter’s gatherings for the foreseeable future. While challenging, we hope that as a community we can stay strong and supportive of one another. Our Bishops recently noted that “this is an excellent opportunity for the whole community to engage in ministering to each other.”
But it will mean a different rhythm of life and reaching out and connecting with others in different ways than normal. Just as our friendly visitors will reach out to those they visit by telephone, and as a renewed telephone tree emerges, we encourage you to do the same. Be in touch with people – particularly those who you think might need or appreciate a check-in – either by telephone, email, Facetime/Skype/Zoom, or social media; while different, these are still good ways of being community with and for one another. And pray for one another. And more, as our Bishops urge: “please continue to be vigilant in your prayerful support of those who are ill and those who are most fully engaged in the public health efforts that are underway across the country and around the world.”
People matter…this has not changed.
The Board Leadership would also like to remind the St. Peter’s community that for the foreseeable future, St. Peter’s building access will be limited. Even if you have a key card, please contact the office before entering the building (519-745-4705 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Additionally, St. Peter’s relies almost entirely upon the donations and generosity of individuals for its many and varied ministries and programs. To try and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 related restrictions we would like to remind you that you can still support St. Peter’s financially in a number of ways: mailing in your offering, depositing your offering in the secured mail slot located next to the door closest to Queen Street in the St. Peter’s underground parking garage, donating through www.stpeterskw.ca (click the donate button in the top right hand corner) or even signing up for pre-authorized remittance (PAR).
We will endeavor to post devotional pieces and other materials to offer spiritual nourishment via the St. Peter’s website (under “News and Views” on the front page) and will continue to creatively attend to spirit and soul in any way that we can. Our live television broadcast will go ahead this coming Sunday in the empty church and we would like to invite you to submit prayer requests (i.e. names to be lifted up…by first name and location only) to email@example.com and we will include as many as possible in this Sunday’s live television broadcast.
While worship will look and feel a little different, the broadcast will include music, prayers from across the country, readings, a message, and will air
this Sunday at 10AM EDT via CTV
Bell Fibe: 201/1201 Bell Satellite: 584, 1505
Rogers Cable: 12/109/518 Shaw Direct: 67/369
Again, please know that at St. Peter’s, we have everyone’s health in mind and are following direction from Public Health sources to ensure that we are doing our best to safeguard the health and wellbeing of everyone in the St. Peter’s community as well as in the larger community around us.
Should you feel (mentally) stressed, or find yourself in need of supportive conversation, please feel free to contact Pastor Mark at 519-591-1551.
We will keep you informed, offering updates, in the coming days.
“May God grant us generous gifts of courage, faith, and compassion” say our Bishops. We couldn’t agree more.
For more information: https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/health-and-wellness/2019-novel-coronavirus.aspx