March 14, 2020
Dear SMSL Family,
St. Matthias and St. Luke Church is committed to seeking the welfare of our neighbours and our city as we strive to glorify God. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow and health authorities seek to mitigate the threat, we will responsibly follow the recommendations and guidelines of local government.
On March 12, the government has advised that public gatherings of over 250 be cancelled. (https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/b-c-health-officials-discourage-travel-outside-canada-ban-events-larger-than-250-people-1.4850903) Our community gatherings on Sundays are below that threshold, so at this point we intend to continue Sunday services unless either our bishops or local government officials advise we cease to meet publicly.
Several extra precautions are being taken at SMSL to ensure a safe environment and to reduce the threat of contagion spreading.
These precautions include:
Encouraging all those who feel unwell to stay at home
Encouraging all vulnerable persons, including the elderly or those with compromised immune systems, to stay at home
Discouraging any physical touch at worship services
Encouraging proper hygiene practices
Providing individual cups and bread wafers during Holy Communion
Encouraging all persons coming into the church building to clean their hands upon entry and also before Holy Communion.
As a church we will continue to praise, pursue and proclaim Jesus as Lord through this season, but we recognize in the midst of this global pandemic that our regular parish ministries will temporarily look different. As such, sermons will be available online and we have plans to make services available online should parishioners prefer to stay at home.
Finally, we also ask that we all join in regular prayer for the wellbeing of all people of the world, and for God’s wisdom with all governments set in place for their care. Every person is made in the image of God and is precious to Him, and we lift up all people from all nations in this difficult season, praying God protects and provides for their needs in this crisis.
If you would like a pastor or leader to pray or connect with you, please contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
God bless you,
Rev Timothy Fong and Rev. Chris Ley