Pastoral Letter Covid-19
Grace and peace to you in the name of God our Creator, Jesus Christ our Redeemer and the Holy Spirit our Comforter.
I’m writing this from my kitchen table near the end of the first month of lockdown. I’m grateful for the sunshine streaming through my windows and the beginnings of buds on the trees outside. They’re giving my spirit a bit of a boost. I find that it is important in these times to watch for the things that raise my spirits and give me strength. Living in the midst of a pandemic isn’t easy for any of us.
One of the things that makes it so challenging is that it can feel as if even the most basic decisions are suddenly full of moral significance.
Should you go grocery shopping or get it delivered? Should you wear a mask when you go out or not? Should you wash your groceries when you bring them home?
Activities that we never had to think very hard about have suddenly become tough choices. Add to that the constant flow of news, the lack of in person contact, and the understandable anxiety and its no wonder that life in a pandemic takes its toll.
It’s important to remember that we all react to this kind of stress differently. You may be more tired than usual, irritable, teary, numb, depressed or anxious. You may find it difficult to sleep or you may be sleeping more than usual. You may be more restless than usual. Know that all of these reactions are normal.
There are things we can do.
Try some exercise each day, even if it is just walking around your home or doing some stretches. Reach out to others by phone, e-mail, or video call. Spend time in prayer.
It’s okay if all you want to do is sit with God in silence. It is also okay if you feel angry at God. Spend time letting God know what’s on your mind.
Try and limit your exposure to the news. Once a day is generally enough.
Finally, reach out for help if you feel like everything is becoming too much. You can get in touch with me through the church office if you need to talk. Don’t feel as if you’ll be a burden. Being available for people to talk to is what I’m here for. If you are in crisis there are places you can call for help. You’ll find the numbers at the bottom of this letter.
Finally, know that through all of this we are being held in the palm of God’s hand.
I am reminded of the writings of Julian of Norwich. She was a woman who lived in England in during the 14th century. She lived through war, civil war, plague and famine.
Yet in her book “Revelations of Divine Love” she wrote “Let the winter come and go, all shall be well again I know. And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” Julian trusted herself to God’s hands and we can do the same.
God Bless You
Mental Health Services
- Mental Health Helpline 1-866-531-2600
- Durham Mental Health Services 1-800-742-1890
- Ontario Shores Crisis Line 1-800-263-2679
- Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
- Distress Centre Durham 1-800-452-0688