March 18, 2020
Dear SMSL family,
On March 17 our bishops informed us that due to the COVID-19 crisis all Anglican Network in Canada churches must cancel all public gatherings until April 5 at the earliest, in accordance with the recommendations of local health authorities.
This action is deeply troubling, but also necessary as we try to love our neighbours in limiting the spread of COVID-19. We have been instructed to adhere to local governments and health authorities, and so we will not be gatherings for Sunday services on March 22, 29 or April 5. We have also been instructed to cancel all small groups, bible studies, and in-person meetings during this period.
Despite not being able to gather in person, we believe we can continue in our mission to praise, pursue and proclaim Jesus as Lord, although now from home for the foreseeable future. This crisis represents a unique opportunity to love our neighbours, to take time at home to draw near to God, and to care for one another whether in person or through regular correspondence. (read more at: https://www.smslchurch.ca/post/theplan)
Throughout this crisis, the church plans to broadcast two morning prayer services each Sunday at 11am, one in Chinese led by Rev. Fong and one in English led by Rev. Ley, which can be found through our website www.smslchurch.ca/churchonline. We ask all parishioners to please gather at 11am Sundays at your homes, either alone or with your family, so we can worship the Lord together using our online broadcasts. We are also trying to set up regular phone contact so all parishioners are connected through our leadership.
This is an unprecedented time, and many of you are likely anxious about the future. This Sunday’s Psalm is Psalm 23, and the gospel text is about Jesus healing a man with a medical ailment (John 9:1-41). In suffering, remember the God who goes before us, who sits as Lord over all, who fights for us, and has won our salvation over death. Our prayer is that through this crisis our faith would grow, we would see God as our good shepherd who both protects and provides for us, who leads us through the shadow of death, and has given His life to ensure we will be healed of all illness and enjoy eternal life with Him forever.
Lastly, as the world around us descends into fear and panic, this is a golden opportunity for us to draw closer to God and embody the Love of Christ. With more time at home, we encourage you to develop new habits as our regular routines are disrupted. We will remember these days for the rest of our lives, so let’s make the most of them by developing richer lives of discipleship and faith and seeking to love our neighbours in a way that resembles our Saviour.
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say[a] to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
In His Service,
Rev. Timothy Fong and Rev. Chris Ley
在這期間，教會計劃在每主日上午11時分別廣播兩場中英文早禱崇拜，粵語崇拜由方文傑牧師主禮，而英文崇拜由Chris Ley牧師主禮。只要連結我們教會的網站，便可參與：www.smslchurch.ca/churchonlinezh。請弟兄姊妹在主日上午11點透過網路在家中一起敬拜主 (崇拜視頻在11後會保存在網頁上，歡迎邀請親友收看)。在此鼓勵大家和我們一起以電話和視頻方式繼續彼此關顧。