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This morning, in-between phone calls and virtual meetings, I had to step outside to the backyard and take a violet break.  So much has changed in the world in this last week that it was very reassuring to see and smell spring on its way.  If you, like me, have had moments of anxiety and confusion, the words of Psalm 23 are also a great comfort:

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters.”

What a relief that, despite the name, I am not the Good Shepherd, but that I too can trust in the One who will take care of us no matter what. 

The church building we call St. Martin’s may be closed until it is safe to gather together again in numbers, but the Church goes on.  This week you have been contacted by someone on our church leadership because you are the Church, and we care very much for your spiritual, emotional, and physical wellbeing.  Through our weekly emails and phone calls, the parish website, and other creative ways we discover together, we will continue to connect.

Here are 5 ways that you can help be the Church during and after this health crisis:

1.      Support your leaders:  clergy, parish council, trustees, and staff need your encouragement, kindness, and patience as we navigate new paths.

2.      Send in your pledge: if you do not already use P.A.D. (Personal Authorized Donations), now is a good time to sign up.  You can also send in a cheque, or use the “donate” button under gift-giving on our parish website. The needs of ministry continue.

3.      Check on your neighbours: Able bodies can help with groceries or prescriptions, phone or connect online, dance and wave from your balcony!

4.      Pray for your community:  keep your church family and the wider parish of North Vancouver lifted up to God daily.

5.      Practice Sabbath time:  Say Matins at 10 am on Sunday.  Read your Bible, light a candle, rest, get fresh air, start a new hobby.  Let your mind and body relax in God’s presence.

I will continue to be available to you by phone, email, and hopefully through some new video-conferencing technologies as well.  Stay tuned for developments.  May God guide us along right pathways, for His name’s sake. 

Yours in Christ,