March 13, 2020
Dear Trinity Lutheran family members and friends:
Grace be unto you and peace from God our Creator and Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.
Each of you have been on my mind this week as I have listened to the news regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Each day we have received more information regarding this pandemic. Each day we have heard of countries closing their borders and activities being cancelled from ‘hockey’ to the ‘Juno Awards’. So, the situation is foremost on most people’s minds.
As I have listened to the news and engaged in conversations with colleagues and members of our Trinity congregation, I have thought of all of you. This is a time of varying emotions and concerns. Some of you may be feeling frightened and alone. If you have these feelings, or any feelings of concern, I want you to know that you are not alone. God is with us in all things and through all things. God has given us one another and so we are all in this together.
If you need anything from supplies because you are unable to get out or someone to talk with, I am here for you and your brothers and sisters in Christ are here. Please do not hesitate to reach out. The church phone number is (204) 735-2503 and my cell phone is 1-204-807-1709.
With this pastoral letter you will also receive a letter from your church council outlining the steps that we will be taking as a congregation to ensure everyone’s safety as they come to worship. The following is a listing of those steps.
At the present time we will:
- Refrain from shaking hands before, during or after the worship service.
- We encourage members to practice ‘social distancing’ (ideally two arms lengths between others).
- We ask that you use the hand sanitizer that is available at each pew.
- If you are not feeling well or if a member of your immediate family is sick, please consider staying at home.
- If you have been on vacation in another country please consider the recommended fourteen day self quarantine.
In addition to these letters, you will also receive a letter from the Bishops of our church outlining the direction taken from our Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. (see link below)
It is my hope that these letters will help to ease any concerns you might have and answer questions you might be wondering about.
Finally I wish to echo the words of our National Bishop Susan Johnson in asking you to keep praying for all who are affected – those who have been infected, those who are quarantined, those who are grieving the death of loved ones, those who are experiencing racism and prejudice, and for all those who continue to care for the sick and vulnerable.
If there is anything, I personally can do for you during this time please do not hesitate to contact me.
Blessings and peace,
Pastor Debra Johnston