Pastoral Letter – January, 2022
For many of us, this Christmas season was difficult. The absence of in-person services and increased concerns about Covid-19 in the form of the omicron variant took some of the festivity out of our celebrations, restricted our gatherings and increased our anxieties. By directive of Bishop Sandra Fyfe, the cancellation of in-person worship continues until at least January 24 for Nova Scotia, now extended also to Prince Edward Island. In our own area there has been a significant increase in the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19. Although many cases involve milder symptoms, the potential for serious illness, hospitalization and death remains. As the number of cases makes evident, our health authorities have expressed very serious concern about the spread of the virus and the mounting stress on our hospitals and health care system.
In-person meetings of Parish Council and committees in both parishes are cancelled until after January 24, subject to revision based on instruction from the Diocese and the health situation in our region and the province. Electronic or virtual services have been provided since Christmas and will continue to be provided on the parishes’ respective Facebook Pages: Parrsboro Anglican and the All Saints Church, Springhill page, as well as the Parish of the Parrsboro Shore’s Website www.parrsboroanglicans.com Looking ahead, we will not have a shared service between the two parishes on January 30. Further details will be provided, as they become available, concerning services on January 30.
I do ask that in each parish annual reports be submitted by February 6 to April Findlay in Springhill and John McIntyre in Parrsboro. Again, further details will be provided depending on whether in-person Sunday services will have resumed by that time The proposed date for the Annual General Meeting in Springhill is Sunday, February 20, with a storm date of Saturday, February 26. The proposed date for the AGM in Parrsboro is Tuesday, February 22, with a storm date to be announced. All of this is tentative based on anticipation and projection concerning Covid-19 in February. We will provide further direction on nominations for membership of parish council and its various offices in the next two weeks. Also, we encourage parishioners to use direct mail to maintain parish financial offerings and further direction will be provided as to a time when those offerings can be dropped off for those who prefer that method.
The suspension of in-person worship and other gatherings has hit us very hard because of the time of year, i.e., the Christmas Season into the New Year, and because we were becoming accustomed to a gradual removal of restrictions. We thought that we were getting back to more normal routines. Nonetheless, faith and science tell us that this pandemic will come to an end. There will come a time when we see light at the end of this tunnel. Until that time, we need to hold one another up in prayer and do the things that we can to help one another. We need also to take responsible measures to protect our own health and that of other people: vaccinations, testing, good quality masks, social distancing, hand sanitizing. When we are sick we need to stay home. We need to follow the restrictions and guidance provided by our Federal and Provincial Health authorities.
Stay safe, trust in the Lord and help one another,
The Rev’d Dr. Brian J. Spence – Rector