Pastoral Letter

To Members and Adherents of St. Paul’s United Church
September 27, 2020

Dear Friends,

As I write this, we are six months into the Covid-19 pandemic and quite likely at the start of the second wave. I am writing to let you know what you can expect from St. Paul’s in the next four months and to reflect a little on the challenges of these times.

Worship will continue to be held via Zoom until at least January 2021. The Worship & Music Committee and I had hoped to hold an outdoor service before the end of September, however the rise in case numbers makes that inadvisable at this time. Just this week the limit to personal gatherings was lowered across the province. Keeping everyone safe remains the priority for myself and the rest of the leadership team at St. Paul’s.

We are expanding the virtual programming that is available, with Choir and Bible Discussion resuming. The All Request Discussion Series has also started. If your group would like to gather using Zoom, please contact the church office.

I want to extend my thanks to all the volunteers who are helping to keep things running. I know it has been a learning curve and your efforts are appreciated.

Currently the church building remains closed. If you need to enter for any reason, please contact Catharine Ottaway 24 hours in advance. She can be reached via the church telephone number; 905 683 4740. Please do not email as she may not see the message in time for you to enter the church building. With the enhanced cleaning protocols in place this notice is extremely important.

There is no question that we are living through challenging times. It is easy to become discouraged, especially as winter closes in and we are experiencing a second wave of the virus.

It is important to know that feeling tired, discouraged, frustrated, sad or just generally more emotional than usual is totally normal in times like these. The fact that physical distancing is a necessary part of our collective safety only makes it more challenging.

As people of faith we are reminded that although we might be physically separated through the love of God and the action of the Holy Spirit we are never truly apart. Not from God and not from each other.

I encourage you to reach out as you are able. Call each other, send cards and letters, join in the virtual activities being offered by St. Paul’s.

If you are having trouble coping or just feel the need to talk, please reach out to me. Offering Pastoral Care is one of the most important parts of my work.

Be gentle with yourselves. In these hard times all our inner resources are taxed and even everyday activities require more energy.

Finally, keep tending to your faith. God has a wealth of strength and comfort to offer if we ask for it. Keep up your faith practices, whatever they are such as reading daily devotionals or scripture, praying, meditating, or reaching out to others; and in doing so draw closer to God.

Above all, know that you are loved by God, eternally and deeply, and draw strength from that knowledge.

Yours in Christ,
Rev. Cordelia