Saturday, March 14, 2 pm
***URGENT: CANCELLATION OF ALL SERVICES AT ST THOMAS UNTIL APRIL***
It is with great sadness that I am writing to let you know
we will not gather for Sunday worship tomorrow morning, or for the remainder of March. This is a diocesan wide decision that was not made lightly, nor was it made in fear. As AHS has requested, gatherings of more than 50 people that include seniors are not recommended at this time. For the safety of all our community, we will follow this recommendation. The situation is changing rapidly, and all the Anglican churches in the province of Rupert's Land are canceling services. It is not just us.
I want to reiterate that this is not the suspension of Church, but only of our ability to gather together in a large group for now. We remain the church. We will find ways to be of support to one another, to pray for one another and to give thanks to God even in difficult days. Over the next few days we will be formulating a plan for how we will continue to be the church, in a very full and real way throughout this crisis. We will also consider how we can continue to serve our most vulnerable members of the community. We will keep communication open through email, website updates, and facebook. Please look on our parish website:
We not only have a link to Covid-19 resources, but a lot of spiritual resources as well. Please look around there; there are some great resources. I cannot get something together for this Sunday, but for the next two Sundays after (March 22 and 29) I will find away to stream a service of the Word for those who wish to participate from home.
**Please if you know of people not on email or who don't check email, can you let them know? I know a few and will call them soon.**
I encourage you to take time to check in by phone with neighbours, family and friends who may be isolated.I encourage you to take the time that may have been filled with meetings and spend that time in prayer and study of scripture.
This is the season of Lent, it is a season to reflect on the depth of God's love for us. In this forced slow down, know how wide and deep and high and strong is the love of God for you and for all of us. We will get through this. This is an act of social solidarity to keep the number of people needing medical care within the capacity of our system to handle it. Please also keep these doctors, nurses and social workers in your prayers. Remember, I am always available. My email is
and my cell phone is 780-243-2212.
God's grace and mercy remain with you always!
In Christ we Trust,
March 14, 2020
As you know, as an Anglican church we take our direction from the Bishop and the diocese. Here is what we have been directed to do:
At this time, we will still be having our Sunday services... but there are some major changes to how we will be doing things.
1) We are temporarily postponing all coffee hour meeting and serving of food
2) At the peace we are asked to not shake hands or hug but to great each other with a smile, a bow, a hand over our hearts, etc. We are also asked not to mill about during the peace but to stay in place.
3) At the 9am we are asked to not hold hands during the Lord's prayer
4) We are canceling all activities and meetings during the week. There will be no moving spirituality, centering prayer, Christian education, music practices, vestry meetings, midweek Eucharist, etc until April.
5) We are asked that if we are feeling sick, please stay home.
That is the official stuff. We will continue to keep you informed as we navigate this situation.
Let me change focus a little, because I want to say that if you feel more comfortable staying home in the midst of all of this, please do! We all know that church is not just about what happens in the building. It is the community following Jesus in prayer and in living out the Gospel.
If you stay home, please consider praying with us on Sunday from your home. You can find the readings for each Sunday at https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/. Here is my suggestion: once you read all of the readings, if you have time read some commentary on each of the readings at https://www.workingpreacher.org/
Or look particularly at the earthy imagery around water and food. Moses makes the water flow in the Exodus reading. Jesus talks about living water. He also talks about having food that his disciples know nothing about. Why do you think the scriptures use water and food as ways to think about our spiritual lives?
Spend some time in prayer using the cycles of prayer sent in the weekly email. If you would like to be added to our email list, please send a message to email@example.com. Please pray for our parish and all those in our communities affected by the virus. Check in with each other by phone or electronically. Please pray for the world. Pray for yourself. Remind yourself of what you are thankful for.
And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all and sustain you!
Alberta Health Services novel coronavirus COVID-19 information and resources:
Strathcona County information page
Anglican Diocese of Edmonton
Letter from Bishop Jane Alexander, March 13, 2020
Anglican Church of Canada
Letter from the Primate (Archbishop), The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls