*The New Normal
"The New Normal" is an expression to describe how the present emergency measures will carry over once the measures are lifted. The easiest example is 9/11, and all the emergency measures that were imposed at the time of 9/11 - like getting through security at the airport, and how many of the security measures we continue to observe.
One of the changes right now is with the number of activities that will take place by phone or online: visiting, meetings, worship services.
Many are going to conclude that because we "can" do it, we "should" do it. Instead, I would say that there are things we will do electronically right now as half-measures in this time. But virtual meetings do not replace meeting in person - and we will return to that just as soon as we can.
*Day of Prayer and Fasting
The Bishop of Toronto is calling for a day of fasting and prayer tomorrow. Everyone is encouraged to participate. Information is available here:
*Regular office hours are effectively suspended, but the answering service works fine and we'll reply to phone calls and e-mail a.s.a.p..
*Friday Night Bible Study Resumes
The online service "Zoom" offers a free service for online group meetings. People can access it using a computer, a smartphone or a regular phone. So as an experiment, the Friday night Bible study on Matthew will resume this Friday. If you'd like to join, even if you haven't done so previously - and from wherever you may be receiving this - please respond to me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll send you the instructions and link. This week's lesson is taken from Matthew 20:17—21:32. It is Lesson 18 in the study guide, "Matthew for Everyone" by Tom Wright.
*Corporation and Parish Council
Please pray for the Corporation and Parish Council as we face the practical and financial implications in this Time of the Virus. St. Paul's is a strong parish. The Lord is faithful. We'll do our best. Please pray.
*Our former website is now clear of troubles, but directs people to the backup website which can be found here: https://deanmercer8.wixsite.com/stpl
The refreshed site will be up and ready soon.
*We are updating our email contact information as quickly as possible. If you know someone who would like to receive these notes from me, please have them pass along their email addresses. And if not, kindly let us know.
*Of greatest immediate concern is the welfare of any member who is frail and those, young and old, who are on their own. Please check in with those you know. Don't hesitate to contact us if you are aware of anyone in need or distress.
*A basic schedule of services continues at the church: the daily offices, Friday Bible study and a Sunday eucharist. On Sundays at 10.30 a.m., every member is invited to pause in prayer for the parish. This can be done on one's own or you may follow along a video, found on the church website.
*The financial needs of the parish remain and your faithful support is sought - through the mail service or the Pre-Authorized Giving Program. We hope to have an online means of giving available very soon.
*The clergy of St. Paul's are all in the vicinity. If any one of us can be of service, don't hesitate to call or write.
Church website (backup): https://deanmercer8.wixsite.com/stpl
Church phone: 416-499-1545
Church email: email@example.com
Fr. Dean Mercer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rectory phone: 416-497-6352
God bless you.
Fr. Dean Mercer+