Friday 13th March, 2020

Dear People of God,

On behalf of the Bishops of Ontario, I am writing to say how grateful we are for the way in which you have so readily responded to the new guidelines with respect to protective measures in our
churches during this season when COVID – 19 is affecting so many people around the world.

We are coordinating our efforts, united in our approach, and monitoring the situation closely. The bishops of the province are ready to act together should the public health officials ask us to take different or more drastic measures.

Plans are in place for online prayer and worship resources to be posted on the provincial website should it become necessary to temporarily suspend communal worship, as well as for those in selfisolation or who are ill with the virus and receiving care. Our synod offices have ways for staff to work from home, so as much as possible, we are striving to maintain the services we provide to sustain the work of the Church. We encourage you, as people of faith, to find creative ways to stay connected during this time and to keep praying for and with each other.

In the meantime, it is our hope that our mission and ministry in the Church and in the world, will continue for the sake of the Gospel. Like so many others we are involved in frontline ministry and our faith summons us to reach beyond our fears and step out in faith confident in God’s abiding love.

Though we walk through the valley in a time of uncertainty our Shepherd is here beside us.

Please join us in holding our world in prayer during this time of crisis, especially those who are ill with this virus. Pray especially for researchers, policy-makers, frontline workers, and for all those who are caring for those who are sick and for those who have died.

In the peace and love of Christ,


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