Coronavirus Update (March 17)
Dear members of Redeemer,
I’m sure you have all been paying close attention to the continual updates on the COVID-19 virus and what that means to yourselves, your family and friends, and your family at Redeemer.
Last evening, the Ontario government expanded its call for closures in the province amid the novel coronavirus pandemic which now impacts us directly. In a statement sent out Monday evening, Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott “recommended the closure of all churches and other faith settings”.
This morning, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in the province to combat the spread of COVID-19 and prevent coronavirus from overwhelming its health-care system. CBC also reported on their news banner this morning that “places of worship are ordered shut during Easter and Passover”.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, and in consideration of the latest direction from our Prime Minister, Premier of Ontario, and both federal and provincial Health Ministers I'm announcing today that we will be postponing our Sunday worship services indefinitely, effective immediately.
It is our hope that this interruption will be short-lived and we will be able to resume services soon, but the health and well-being of our congregation is of highest importance. We will continue to follow all recommended protocols and do everything we can to reduce the congregations’ risk of exposure during this pandemic event.
Over the next few days, we will be exploring different venues so that our congregation may continue to receive spiritual nourishment in the absence of a weekly worship service. We will also be leveraging our Redeemer website to help provide updates, resource materials and inspirational messages during this time. Please go to: https://www.redeemerlutheran-sarnia.ca/ for the latest information.
Just a reminder that if anyone has any pastoral needs before Pastor Ellis’ return to the office, please contact Jane Anne in the church office (519-337-6615), President Dan Hansen (519-330-1291) or Elder Peter McPhail (519-336-3055).
Finally, we ask that you continue to keep all those directly impacted by the COVID-19 virus in your prayers, and also remember those who are impacted indirectly.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1)
~ Dan Hansen, President – Redeemer Lutheran Church