Dear family in Christ.
Firstly, let me thank you for your condolences, prayers and kindness to us at the death of my father, Terry O’Hare 1934-2021. You have given me great strength in these last days. Grief, as Her Majesty commented, at the death of her beloved Philip, is a result of having loved and being loved. I derive great comfort that Dad and his partner, dear Marj was able to visit us here in Canada and to worship with us at Christ Church and to meet many of you. In faith, life goes on, as it should, and time and again, we know the gracious and loving presence of a God who will raise us up at the last day.
It is with great joy to remind you that this Sunday, our Bishop, +Michael Oulton is coming to Christ Church for a pastoral visit, to celebrate our morning Eucharists with us. After the sheer joy and dignity of our Remembrance Day services last Sunday, a visit from him will be a continuance of the joy we find in worshipping together.
Just a reminder, humming the hymns at this point, are the order of the day….you know what I mean!
We have had an update from the diocese, in relation to Covid procedures and compliance in Church. In our considering our active response to the recommendations and choices before us, myself and the wardens in consultation with the Parish Council have agreed to the following.
1. For our 8.00am Sunday service, Tuesday midday prayers and Wednesday 10.00am Worship Services, we are going to continue as we have been, operating under what the diocese is calling ‘Open’ Option. This means no proof of vaccination required to attend worship. These services are small congregations and operate well and safely under the guidelines we have been following for the past months.
2. For the Sunday 10.00am service, we are shifting to the diocesan ‘Restricted Option’.
This option requires proof of double vaccination for all who are attending over the age of 12 years. The implications of this are as follows: physical distancing and the associated capacity limits are no longer required and limits on the number of social events are also lifted. Masks remain mandatory, although the speaker, whether minister or readers can remove their mask to speak at a minimum distance of 4 metres from the next person. Singing is permitted with masks on. Morning tea can be served to a maximum to 25 people – although, we’ll wait until the New Year to offer a post worship coffee hour.
This being said, we will implement this new option and operation next Sunday November 28th, Advent Sunday.
We will need you to bring proof of your double vaccination which we will record on your arrival and will keep record of this until further notice. You will only need to do this once, and as you reengage over the next weeks we’ll mark you off on a dedicated parish role for this purpose.
If you are unable or uncomfortable about this, the other services can be your option. However, we believe this will help us progress and continue to grow in number as we have been doing now since we reopened in August.
I understand there may well need to be some individual pastoral listening as a result of this decision and I encourage you to be in touch with either myself or the wardens. Or for any other matter you’d wish to discuss. We are always here for you.
I want to thank you for your magnificent response in your continuing stewardship offerings over these months. It is impressive and heartfelt that we are so generous in our desire to ensure the continuing presence and ministry of our parish in this community of ‘The Church by the River’.
I had the blessing of speaking at the Mayors Breakfast in this last month and recently he expressed his gratitude for the real work and presence we have in and for the community in which we stand.
It is a joy and honour to serve you as your parish priest and I know my family feel truly blessed to be a part of this community of faith. Sammy is the first teenager I’ve ever known who makes no complaint in getting up on Sunday morning to be in church with us all.
With love and blessings to you.
Fr. Jeff and team