Q: We are looking forward to re-entry after COVID-19. Will there be any communication to the incumbents and churchwardens about how re-entry has to be handled?
A: With the Ontario government moving society into "Phase One" of a gradual re-opening of the province, we too are hopeful about the eventual return to our usual gatherings and activities, especially corporate worship. We will of course wait for the green light from the health authorities before permitting any re-entry activities. When that happens, however, we will have clear guidelines in place for safely re-engaging. The College of Bishops is in weekly contact with the Provincial House of Bishops so that plans are coordinated across the whole Church, and various diocesan groups, including staff, the Regional Deans and the Bishop's Committee on Healing Ministries have been working on practical guidelines for the Diocese of Toronto. These will be shared as soon as we know what is permitted.
"LOONIE TOONIE" HYMN.
As you know, during the closure of the church building we are posting worship videos each week. I'd like to include a "Loonie Toonie" hymn selection each Sunday, so I need your help. Just click here
and let me know what you would like to hear in the service and I will make sure it is included either the following Sunday or as soon as possible. (It all depends how many requests I receive.) And don't forget to tell us why you made that choice! Canon RichardCHURCH GARDEN
Good news! It will be possible to have a garden at the church this summer, as the government has announced garden centres can be open. If you are interested in making a small donation to help buy annuals/flowers to plant in the church garden, you can drop it off on Thursday mornings when you bring your collection. Please put such donations in a separate envelope marked "Church garden". A date for a planting party, with proper physical distancing, will be chosen and publicized later. Elizabeth
LETTER FROM OUR CHURCHWARDENS (April 9, 2020)
The wardens’ team would like to touch base with you and provide you with some important updates as we continue to self-isolate during the Covid 19 crisis. We hope that you and your family are staying safe and well.
Bishop Andrew Asbil has announced a Diocesan Jubilee in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. It states:
“As a family, and in response to this time of great crisis, I can announce that the Diocese of Toronto is proclaiming a Jubilee – a time of generosity and forgiveness. For the months of April and May 2020, parishes will not be required to pay their allotment to the Diocese or to pay the costs of clergy remuneration (stipend, housing and associated benefits). It is my hope that this measure will alleviate the financial pressure that many of our parishes are under, freeing them up to carry out their ministry and to prepare for the days when their doors will open again.”
This is good news for us and will certainly help us to continue to meet our obligations without going further into debt. Since we are unsure of the duration of this crisis, we encourage you to continue to regularly bring in your offerings to ensure that we continue to stay afloat. We thank you for taking the time to do so.
In our last correspondence we informed you that we were working on alternative methods for you to give your offerings. One of those methods is up and running and can be accessed through the Donate Now link on our website. You can also access it at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/47386 . Although this is not our preferred method for you to use, it is available for those who feel comfortable using it to make their one-time only or monthly donations via credit card or PayPal.
You can also now send your donation by e-transfer to email@example.com. If you choose to use this method, you should send the answer to the security question by text message to 647-696-4212. Please do not send the security question answer to the same destination email address as the e-transfer. Also, in the text message, be sure to clearly identify yourself and the e-transfer that you are referring to so that a match can be made, and don’t choose a security answer that is easy to guess, ie. It should not contain your name, address or phone number.
We are continuing to work on providing Preauthorized Withdrawal as another option; however, given the current situation, responses from the bank are slow as they are operating with a skeletal staff.
This will be our first Easter not worshipping in our church building and, for many of us; it will seem a little strange. While we are separated in body, we will continue to stay connected in spirit through the services available by way of social media provided by Canon Richard. Please continue to keep well by staying at home or, observing social distancing when you are out. We look forward to the time when we can meet together again at St. Michael’s.
Your Wardens' Team
SUNDAY, March 15, 2020 - SUSPENSION OF PUBLIC WORSHIP
Friday, March 13, 2020
Dear fellow members of St. Michael’s,
We were instructed this evening (March 13th) by our Metropolitan Bishop, Anne, and our Diocesan Bishop, Andrew, to suspend all public worship starting this Sunday, and until further notice. This would include any meetings or gatherings scheduled to be held at the church for other reasons.
We are entering into new territory. I’m not sure that this has ever happened before in Canadian Church history. But we have a strong and loving community at St. Michael’s and I know we shall find creative ways to journey through this challenge together. Orville Brathwaite and I are already planning to send the Sunday morning services with sermons and Bible Studies you on WhatsApp and by email. All of these videos are available on our website at www.smta.ca. Also, check in on our new FaceBook page and leave a comment. It can also be accessed through our website.
Should you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to call me at 416-454-6081. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please let me know directly should you have a pastoral need during this period of time. The building may close down, but I shall be available when and as you need me.
God already has the route mapped out for us in the days ahead and Jesus will accompany us every step of the way. We just need to keep our eyes fixed on him.
Blessings in Christ,
The Rev’d Canon Dr. Richard Tanner
PS See below to understand at a glance why we are refraining from gathering in groups and implementing other measures at this time.