We were asked to reflect on what has kept us sane and occupied through this period of isolation. For me personally it is my church family and the ministry that continues day by day that has kept me (and I believe our entire parish) not only sane but also hopeful and joyful.
Each morning our rector e-mails “Morning Prayer” to us and on Wednesdays, instead of Morning Prayer, we enjoy a service of Taizé prayers and meditations with links to the beautiful music of Taizé. This has resulted in us staying close to each other while we are apart and encouraged us all to form new norms of daily devotion.
Our weekly Bible Study Group continues to meet via e-mail and members of the group are sharing their reflections on The Book of Acts. Our Rector has provided his thoughts via YouTube and it is good for all of us to hear his voice and see his face during this difficult time of separation. This keeps us connected to each other in a powerful way and tells us we are not alone even in our isolation.
Members of the parish send jokes and their favourite songs via e-mail and so we are able to laugh and sing together. We receive the Sunday worship service via e-mail complete with sermon each week and one of our members has started passing the peace via e-mail and it is encouraging to see how many members of our congregation respond with The Peace of the Lord. We are worshipping together at a distance!
Several of our seniors are in lockdown in senior’s facilities. This is a particularly isolating and frightening time for them and so we speak to each other frequently by phone and it is especially wonderful to know that the person who you are calling has had several other calls that same day from other parishioners.
I believe our faith and commitment to Jesus carries us all through the toughest of times how can I write about anything else, nothing comes even close. So, in a nutshell, I guess it is “Love” that will see us through this pandemic, Jesus’ amazing love shining brightly through his body, the church!
The Church of Our Saviour The Redeemer
The COVID-19 virus may have brought about the closing of our church buildings but it has definitely not stopped us from being church. Our Rector, The Rev’d. Bahman Kalantari, has been sending each day a service of Morning Prayer and each Sunday the bulletin for the day, prayers of the people, and his sermon. We have placed all of these on our parish website at http://www.oursaviourtheredeemer.com
Our weekly Bible Study continues to meet through e-mail each week and we are continuing to grow closer to each other and Jesus.
Parishioners are being intentional about calling each other to make certain that we are all keeping well and not in need of anything, some have passed on jokes to keep us smiling, we are more in touch by e-mail and phone now than we have ever been before.
Our Sunday School children are being sent Palm Sunday readings for them to practice for when they return. A puzzle is also being sent to the children for them to work on that involves individual clues for each child. When we do reassemble these clues will come together to provide and answer to a treasure hunt. This provides something fun for the children to look forward to upon their return.
We joined with the rest of Anglican churches in Ontario on March 22nd and placed a candle in our windows as requested by Bishop Susan but we took it a bit further, we asked that our parishioners consider continuing the practice of lighting a candle each night at 7 p.m. and add their own prayers for those affected in any way by COVID-19, for:
- Healthcare workers, those worried about their jobs,
- financial worries, business owners,
- those who are fearful and alone,
- for the healing of our planet … and more
We know that together we can make a difference because we are the church and not our building and that there is no tool stronger than Christians praying together!