News in this difficult time

Dear St. Stephen’s church family,

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

What a week! I hope that everybody is doing well in the midst of this social experiment, in which we are making every effort to contain the spread of a virus that has affected those throughout the world. We pray for those who have lost loved ones, for all caregivers and for all who are isolated. We also pray for a continued sense of peace and calm. Many are afraid, worried about what might happen, or what could happen. It’s good to stay in the present moment, give thanks for the safety and health that we enjoy, act with care, and not to fan the flames of fear.

As schools closed across the province, the Bishop made the difficult decision to also suspend all worship services in the Diocese. We are not the first or only Diocese to take these measures. Most churches are in the same boat, sadly, at least for the time being. Part of the joy of the Christian life is to meet together, to sing, to pray, to share in the sacraments, to encourage one another. This will be a difficult few weeks and possibly longer. Let’s hope that things stabilize soon and we are able to resume our life together. In the mean time, we remain connected spiritually and through other means! To recap: there will be no services on Sunday and until further notice.

 I will be recording a sermon this week, and will post it on facebook and possibly our website and possibly email! This is a new venture for me (don’t worry, I have no plans to become a talk show host!). It will most likely not be visual this week (thankfully! haha), but rather, a sound recording. Who knows, if this lasts, as I get more technologically savvy, there may be special effects!

 Please keep in touch. John, Margaret and I will be phoning people to check in and talk, share a prayer concern, keep connected.

Please reach out to one another and to your neighbours: Love God and love your neighbour as yourself. Talking on the phone can be therapeutic, in this day of social isolation! 

Please reach out to the church if you are aware of need, either your own or somebody else’s.

Our parish cycle of prayer continues:

We pray for the newly formed vestry. We pray that we may work together to do God’s will in our time and place. We pray that we may continue to live into the vision that we have been given as a church: Christ Centred, Holy Spirit led, A caring community that is Outward focussed.

We pray for all members of the parish, for all who are experiencing anxiety or fear. For all who are figuring out how to care for children, for all who are living alone.

 We pray for Chris and Cathryn, Katie, Emma, Laura and Jessie and family. We pray for Ken W and family.

 The following prayer is attributed to St. Patrick. It is a good prayer for us as we navigate this week, thinking of others before ourselves, praying for the health and wellbeing of all and for our own peace and salvation. Consider writing it out and praying it in the morning and in the night.:

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ within me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every one who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.”

Sent in the peace and love of Christ, our healer,

The Rev. Amy <><