Eastminister United Church
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The Pastor’s Pen – COVID Update – December 21, 2021

Dear Members of Eastminster,

It is with regret that I write to inform you that the Management Team has decided to temporarily close the church again in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You will be aware that the incidence of COVID in our area has risen sharply over past weeks and that the Delta and Omicron variants are making their way through our community.  The current high incidence and the grim projections related to Omicron spell danger for any large, indoor gatherings and the church is not immune from such things.

It was a very difficult and complex decision for the Management Team to take and especially so as we move into the Christmas season and services.  It is not what any of us would have liked and we recognise that it will be as heart-breaking for many of you as it was for us to make the decision.  Your health and well-being is, however, foremost in our thoughts.  The transmissibility associated with Omicron and lack of significant air-exchange in our sanctuary during the winter heating season were significant parts of the discussion.  As was, the need to do our part to help flatten the curve, slow the spread, and give our health-care workers a chance to help those who need specialised treatment.  We hope that you will understand.

hat this means is that there will be no indoor Christmas Services this coming weekend and no gathering for in-person worship for the coming weeks.

I would invite you, however, to welcome in the season with some carols, candlelight (if the weather cooperates), and prayer outside the main doors of the church this Christmas Eve at 8:00 pm as was previously announced.  Please bundle up, wear masks, and maintain social distancing even if we are outside.

As we approach the two-year mark of this pandemic and our fourth shutdown in the church (and I suspect as a Province in the days to come), it is disheartening for many.  I encourage you again to look to God in these times and find that peace that passes all understanding.  If you are struggling, however, please send an email to either me or Pastor Frank (dmcmaster@eastminster.ca / hamperscamper49@gmail.com).  We would be glad to call and try to help as we, together, work through these strange days.

In what will again be a quieter Christmas for most,

may God be with you and protect you.

Pastor David