COVID-19 Update

November 24, 2020

Dear St. Matthias and St. Luke Family,

 

This Sunday, November 29 marks the beginning of a new church year with the start of Advent. This past year has been an incredibly challenging one for us as a church community.  Last November our rector had a life-threatening fall, which mercifully he recovered from after much prayer and truly miraculous healing. Since then we have experienced more challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of regular services, Rev. Timothy’s retirement, and the challenge of relocating in the middle of everything else. Alongside these very large, unforeseen trials, we have experienced God’s miraculous provision and grace to us all: Timothy’s rapid recovery, an unexpected new location opening up for us at the last moment, tireless service from many members ranging from increased giving to helping move to renovated our new building, and the Lord calling Rev. Angus Wu to be our next rector.  On the cusp of a new year, and an Advent and Christmas season that will likely look very different, I want to provide a brief update:

 

Rev. Angus’ Arrival

 

Due to the pandemic and limitations on international travel, obtaining the necessary immigration visas is taking longer than expected. Our new rector, Rev. Wu, and his family were planning to arrive in Vancouver at the end of this month, and to be with us by mid-December, but due to delays in the Canadian Government processing visas at this time Rev. Wu and his family have not been able to obtain the necessary visas required for their imminent immigration. Our hope and prayer is that they will be able to arrive soon, but until their application is reviewed and approved we will need to postpone expecting their arrival until sometime in 2021.

 

Bishop Stephen Leung, Rector (Interim) and Rev. Deacon Walter Wong (Vocational Deacon) ministering the Chinese service  

 

During the time gap and the prolonged interval between Rev. Timothy Fong’s retirement and

the delayed arrival of Rev. Angus Wu to Vancouver, Bishop Stephen will continue to serve as the interim Rector of SMSL.  This means he is the chair of our Board of Directors and Church Committee for ongoing ministry. He will oversee the clergy and Chinese services until Rev. Angus Wu arrives and is ordained a priest.  Vocational Deacon Walter Wong is now working with Bishop Stephen in providing online Chinese services, preaching, bible study and pastoral care to those in need, particularly Chinese-speaking parishioners.  In the absence of Bishop Stephen in person, Rev. Chris Ley will be the deputy for Bishop Stephen in SMSL. Please pray for the unity and good health for our Bishop, clergy and lay leaders.

 

Relocation and Renovation

 

Our relocation and renovation team continues to work incredibly hard to ensure our new space is ready for us once the current Provincial Orders on Social Gatherings are lifted. The faithfulness of many of our members to give their time and energy to our relocation and renovation leaves us all indebted to their generosity and service. We have seen the very best of our community in their sacrificial service for our church.

 

In-Person Services

 

Our church is committed to glorifying God through loving our neighbours and respecting the authorities placed over us. We are committed to following all Provincial Safety Guidelines to ensure we can worship safely. We therefore are suspending all future services indefinitely until the current Provincial Order on Social Gatherings is lifted, on December 7 at the earliest. This means the earliest possible in-person worship service we will have at our new location will be December 13. Once we are permitted to resume services and can safely do so, we will publish a letter and open an online sign-up for these services.

 

Christmas Day

 

For Christmas Day, if in-person gatherings are permitted, we will have a Bi-Lingual (English and Chinese) Holy Communion Service at 11am December 25. Due to the space limitations of our new sanctuary, services will be limited to around 35 people to ensure social distancing measures can be observed. If needed to accommodate overflow, we will offer an additional, identical service at 9:30am December 25.

 

The mission of our church is to praise, pursue and proclaim Jesus as Lord, and for the last 10 months we have needed to add the words, “from home” to the end of this mission statement. I encourage you now in the season of advent to focus fully on the coming of our King, to look to Him in your life, to pray to Him, and to proclaim Him to everyone you encounter.

 

 

May God Bless you,

 

Rev. Chris Ley

 

 

**********

 

牧 函

2020年十一月二十四日

 

 

 

 

親愛的聖路加聖馬提亞堂大家庭:

 

本主日 (十一月廿九日) 隨著將臨節的開始,表示教會已踏入教會年曆的一個新年度。過去的一年對我們這個教會家庭來說是非常艱鉅的一年。去年十一月,我們的主任牧師經歷了一次危及生命的跌倒,藉著禱告和真正奇蹟般的醫治,他蒙恩得康復。自此之後,我們經歷了更多的挑戰:COVID-19新冠疫病和暫停正常的主日崇拜、方文傑牧師的退休以及在這一切困境中,再加上搬遷的挑戰。在經歷這些巨大、前所未遇過的考驗之同時,我們體驗了上帝給我們各人奇妙的供應和恩典:方牧師的迅速康復、一個意想不到的新堂址在最後一刻為我們預備、教友們不懈的事奉 – 從從增加捐款到幫助搬遷到翻修新教堂、主呼召胡玉藩牧師為我們的下一任主任牧師。在新的一年即將來臨之際,並且在我們將要渡過一個不一樣的將臨和聖誕節期時,我想向大家作一個簡短的報告:

 

胡玉藩牧師的到任

 

由於疫情和國際旅遊的限制,獲取必須的移民簽證現需時比預期的長。我們的新主任牧師胡牧師及其家人原本計劃於本月底到達溫哥華,並於十二月中旬與我們一起,但由於加拿大政府處理簽證的工作有所延誤,胡牧師和他的家人無法及時獲得移民所須的簽證。我們的希望和禱告是他們能夠盡快到達,但在他們的申請仍未獲審核和批准之前,我們需要將期望他們到達的日子推遲到2021年了。

 

梁永康主教 (臨時) 主任牧師和王華達會吏主理中文崇拜

 

在方文傑牧師退休和胡玉藩牧師延遲抵達溫哥華之間相隔的一段長時間,梁永康主教將繼續擔任SMSL的臨時主任牧師。意思是他是執行教會日常事工的堂董會和牧區議會的主席。他將會監督本堂的聖品人和主理中文崇拜,直到胡玉藩牧師到達並受按立為牧師為止。王華達會吏正與梁永康主教合作,為有需要的人,特別是講粵語的教友提供網上中文崇拜、講道、查經和牧養服務。在梁主教未能親身出席的情況下,Chris Ley牧師將在本堂擔任梁主教的代表。請為我們的主教,聖品人和平信徒領袖祈求合一和健康的體魄。

 

搬遷和翻修

 

我們的遷堂和翻修團隊用驚人的努力去繼續工作,以確保在當前實施的省政府限聚令一旦獲解除,我們便可以馬上使用新教堂。許多教友們忠誠地獻出時間和精力來協助搬遷和翻修工作,我們對他們的慷慨和服侍實在感激不已。在他們為教會無私的奉獻中,我們看到了牧區最好的一面。

 

實體崇拜

 

我們的教會致力於通過愛護我們的鄰舍和尊重掌權者來榮耀上帝。我們致力於遵守所有省政府實施的安全準則,以確保我們可以安全地進行崇拜。因此,我們將無限期暫停所有未來的崇拜,直到省政府的限聚令取消,最早可能是十二月七日。這意味著我們將有可能最早在十二月十三日於新地點舉行實體崇拜。一旦我們被允許恢復實體崇拜,並且可以安全地舉行,我們定會致函大家,並公開線上報名,讓大家可以登記參加崇拜。

 

聖誕節

 

在聖誕節,若實體崇拜獲准舉行,我們將在十二月二十五日上午十一時舉行雙語(英語和廣東話)聖餐崇拜。由於我們新聖殿的空間有限,聖誕日崇拜僅限於35人左右參加,以確保遵守社交距離措施。若參加人數多而需要多加一堂崇拜,我們將在十二月二十五日上午九時半額外舉行多一堂相同的崇拜。

 

我們教會的使命是敬拜、追隨、傳揚耶穌為主。在過去的十個月中,我們真的需要在牧區使命加上 「從家中」 一詞為註腳。我鼓勵您在將臨節裡定睛貫注我們君王的來臨、在生命中仰望祂,向祂祈禱,並向遇到的每個人宣揚祂。

 

 

願上帝祝福您

 

Chris Ley 牧師

本堂是加拿大聖公會網絡成員

A Member Parish of the Anglican Network in Canada

  • YouTube
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
Anglican Network in Canada Logo
Anglican CHurch in North America logo