Dear Parish Family,
I write from St Matthias with breaking news in light of a new advisory from Bishop Jane -- church services across the Diocese of Edmonton will be suspended from now through the end of March.
This decision, while a sad one, is of course the wisest course of action in light of the unfolding dynamics around COVID-19 and the need to participate in 'flattening the curve' and preventing the spread of the virus as much as possible. This latest decision comes on the heels of the Alberta government's advisory that gatherings of 50 people or more that include seniors be cancelled.
So, we will not be gathering at St Matthias for the next 3 Sundays (March 15, 22, 29). We will continue to communicate announcements and seek to offer prayers and reflections via email and the church website along the way.
In addition, should we learn that some of our number are self-isolating or in quarantine at home, one thing we might be able to do as a church family is have a group who are willing to serve as 'supply-drivers' to deliver essential supplies to those who are home-bound, dropping these for example on a porch or other outside location. If you would like to help in that way, please do let us know.
Please keep in touch with regard to any pastoral needs, concerns, and especially of course if you find yourself in need of support during this time.
Please keep these matters in your prayers! As Bishop Jane has reminded us in writing of the need to suspend our collective worship, the words of Psalm 46 offer encouragement to continue to trust God in the midst of this time of trouble:
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.