March 28, 2021
AMENDED March 31, 2021
Dear St. Matthias and St. Luke Family,
I pray you are well. Lent is a season of growth, hope and anticipation, of seeing the darkness fade and the light begin to rise in the dawn. It is a season where the death of winter succumbs to the new life of spring. This is a season where we recognize our sin and look forward to the resurrection of our bodies and life everlasting with our Risen Lord Jesus Christ.
We see the shoots of this Lenten hope all around us: longer days, lighter evenings, spring flowers, sunnier skies. But this season we also see it in our pandemic reality: increased vaccinations for the population, decreased restrictions, and the hope that we may soon return to normalcy and indeed to worshipping together as one body.
Easter Sunday is just around the corner, and for months we have had no idea how we will be able to safely celebrate. Last week the BC government produced new guidelines for religious gatherings for outdoor worship and this week has restricted any indoor services for at least three weeks. Our church leadership has carefully considered these guidelines, and the following plans have been made for Holy Week and Easter.
Online services will continue to be produced every Sunday, and a Good Friday online service will also be available for viewing.
On Easter Sunday we will host several very small, short in-person Holy Communion services outside on the church's covered patio so that as many parishioners who would like can participate and receive Holy Communion on Easter Sunday. There is an online sign-up https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040449aba928a7f49-easter for households to register to come at a designated time to our new church to receive private, individual Communion outside. The service will last approximately 10 minutes with no more than eight persons present. After receiving Communion congregants will be allowed to enter the new sanctuary to privately pray (as this is currently allowed by the province) and then leave quietly. The time slots will be every 20 minutes between 10am and 2pm on Easter Sunday, April 4.
In accord with the Provincial Gatherings and Events Order, we caution people considered higher risk of suffering from serious complications of COVID-19 from attending these in-person gatherings. Higher risk individuals include persons 70 years of age or older, or a person with an underlying medical condition or a compromised immune system. Additionally, if you are unable to stand for the short service or to be exposed to potentially cold and wet weather, then perhaps consider not attending.
This arrangement is temporary and certainly not ideal, but it will allow all parishioners who would like to participate in an in-person Holy Communion on Easter Sunday to do so. We will tentatively plan to offer this service again on April 18 with another online sign-up.
May the Lord Bless you and Keep you, and Shine His Face Upon you this Holy Week and Easter Season.
Rev. Chris Ley
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