Pastoral Letter to the Holy Cross Family

Friday March 13, 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

As I write this, the media and public conversations are dominated by the concerns we all share about the COVID-19 Pandemic. As family, we at Holy Cross have been taking our cues from Public Health officials at the regional, provincial, and federal levels. While there is still no evidence of community transmission in York Region and we continue to be advised that the risk remains low, we are being warned to expect this to change.  This is why we have already begun to prepare by adopting best-practices now.  As we learn together, our Public Health Protocol continues to be adjusted to reflect the wisdom of experts in this quickly changing new world we find ourselves in.

As your Pastor, I am extremely proud of the way our Holy Cross Family has stepped up. Many thanks to our Church Council and to the volunteers who have helped to enact the necessary changes to our life together. Over the course of the next few weeks and months more will be asked of each of us as we continue to care for one another, our loved ones, and the community around us. 

This week, I met with the members of our CARE Team to explore how best we might continue to care for one another. We all know that if we are feeling ill or if we suspect that we have been exposed to the virus, we must stay at home. We are grateful to everyone who has already done so and we suspect that more people will be required to stay home in the future. As a result, we are asking those of you who are self-isolating to let us know. Simply, call the Church phone 905-898-1682 and leave a voicemail.  Messages will be checked 3 times a day.  Members of our CARE Team will then be able to respond accordingly and check in with you from time to time.  

The CARE Team will be coordinating volunteers to respond to the needs of those who are self-isolating, eg. shopping, or regular conversation. If you are able to volunteer to carry out small errands or to be a conversation partner, please email me and I will ensure that your name is added to our volunteer list. 

In addition to the CARE Team, PLEASE do not hesitate to contact me for any reason: phone or text:  905-868-0897, email dawnhutchings@me.com . 

Please take a few moments to review our UPDATED Public Health Protocol which is attached with this letter (updates have been highlighted).

Scheduled activities will continue at Holy Cross:  As all of our gatherings are classified as “small,” as of now, we do not fall under any advice to cancel. Sunday services and planned activities will continue. Fortunately should it become necessary to cancel, we do have access to various methods to livestream services. We will continue to innovate as necessary.  Any and all updates will be posted on our website and emails will be sent. The health and welfare of the community will continue be our priority!

Social Distancing is a new idea which we hope will go a long way to limiting the spread of the virus. But it is not a comfortable fit for a loving family like ours. However, I have long since learned that the Holy Cross Family is made up of very wise and compassionate people. I have every confidence that together, we can rise to the challenges of being LOVE to one another and to our neighbours. Fortunately, we have access to modern means of communication, and it is my hope that we shall all find ways of keeping in touch with one another. Communication will be the key to opening the floodgates of compassion.  

Remember, we are created and empowered to be LOVE by the ONE who IS LOVE. 

Our compassion for one another and for our neighbours is a powerful way to ensure that all shall be well.

I shall continue to hold each and everyone of you in my heart and thereby my prayers, trusting that the ONE in whom we live, and move, and have our being, lives and breathes in, with, through, and beyond us. 

May each of us continue to take comfort from the knowledge that there is nothing that can separate us from the LOVE that IS God.

I remain, yours in CHRIST,

Pastor Dawn Hutchings

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