Dear brothers and sisters in our church family,
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Events surrounding the continued outbreak have continued to develop very quickly since we last met for the Divine Service this past Sunday. Yesterday the Premier of Ontario declared a province wide state of emergency that prohibits public gatherings of more than 50 people. Although our worship services and other activities place us below the threshold of this order, the American Centers for Disease Control is recommending against gatherings of more than 10 people at this time. It is highly probable that additional measures will be forthcoming in Ontario as the scope of the epidemic widens.
Even more significantly for us in the short term, as of Monday the Canadian government is now requiring all visitors, with some exceptions for transportation workers, to voluntarily submit to a 14-day period of isolation after arrival in Canada. I am attempting to obtain guidance to further understand how this impacts other workers and commuters, but based on anecdotal evidence it appears that the Canadian border services are indeed requesting incoming travellers to acknowledge a two week quarantine, and are turning people away in some instances.
In light of these developments, we are therefore suspending the Sunday and Wednesday services until further notice. We are also suspending all Bible studies and other normally scheduled weekly activities. As I have mentioned, we have a duty of care to not harm our neighbour, particularly those vulnerable to this disease, and because the virus spreads asymptomatically I believe we must err on the side of caution.
During this time I will be posting sermons for these dates online, at http://christlutheran-sarnia.ca/blog/, and will also be posting devotional and Bible study materials for use at home. As we now enter a period of unprecedented crisis and uncertainty I implore you not to neglect God’s Word, and to make us of what I will be sending your way. Commit this to memory over the coming days: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Ps 56:3).
Please notify those who may not have email or otherwise be able to obtain this notice. In case you need to contact me the best way is on my mobile phone, (226) 778-0249.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who was sent by God the Father and gives us every good gift by the Holy Spirt strengthen and preserve you in faith and give you every needed blessing in this time.
In Christ, our life,