Dear Members and Friends of Nashwaaksis United Church,
As all of us know, we are in the midst of uncertain times and there are lots of questions about what the days ahead will bring. As people of faith, we trust that God will be with us as we journey through these times together.
The Church Council of Nashwaaksis United Church is entrusted with making decisions about our community life, and when to make changes to the ways we gather as a congregation. In response to current public health guidance from the Province of NB, the following decisions have been made:
1) We will NOT hold public worship services on March 22nd or March 29th
2) The church building will be CLOSED for all groups and activities from March 17th through March 31st
3) A process will be put in place to make decisions about whether or not to extend the closure and cancellations, depending on public health measures in effect at the time
Our primary concern is for the health and safety of all who gather in our church building. These actions are being taken to limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus within our community and beyond.
Unfortunately, we have just been informed that two individuals who were present at our worship service on Sunday, March 15th, were notified last night that they have been in proximity to someone exposed to the virus.
The Province’s Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Public Health) has posted the following guidance: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/ocmoh/cdc/content/respiratory_diseases/coronavirus/AboutCoronavirus.html
Our sanctuary has been professionally sanitized and is now closed off. All other surfaces of the church building have also been professionally cleaned and disinfected using hospital-grade cleaning products.
Pastoral care of our members is especially important during this time. With current restrictions in place with regard to visiting long-term care facilities and hospitals, along with social distancing protocols, our face-to-face contact will be significantly reduced. Pastoral care will be primarily via telephone for the foreseeable future instead of personal visits.
We ask you to please remember that your financial support of the church is especially important during this time. Although we will not be meeting face-to-face for Sunday worship, the church’s expenses will continue. We still need to pay for insurance, heat, electricity, salaries, etc.
If you usually make your offering through envelopes, please consider mailing your offering to the church or dropping it off in the church’s mailbox (next to the back door). You might also wish to consider changing to PAR and having your monthly offering automatically deducted from your account. You can do this by emailing Maureen O’Hara at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations can also be made by credit card at: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/nashwaaksis-united-church/
Yours in faith,
Rev. Nathan Wright
Minister of Worship & Pastoral Care
Chair, Church Council
We’d like to close with a prayer offered by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Richard Bott, Moderator of the United Church of Canada:
In this time of COVID-19, we pray:
When we aren't sure, God,
help us be calm;
when information comes
from all sides, correct and not,
help us to discern;
when fear makes it hard to breathe,
and anxiety seems to be the order of the day,
slow us down, God;
help us to reach out with our hearts,
when we can't touch with our hands;
help us to be socially connected,
when we have to be socially distant;
help us to love as perfectly as we can,
knowing that "perfect love casts out all fear."
For the doctors, we pray,
for the nurses, we pray,
for the technicians and the janitors and the
aides and the caregivers, we pray,
for the researchers and theorists,
the epidemiologists and investigators,
for those who are sick,
and those who are grieving, we pray,
for all who are affected,
all around the world...
May we feed the hungry,
give drink to the thirsty,
clothe the naked and house those without homes;
may we walk with those who feel they are alone,
and may we do all that we can to heal
in spite of the epidemic,
in spite of the fear.
Help us, O God,
that we might help each other.
In the love of the Creator,
in the name of the Healer,
in the life of the Holy Spirit that is in all and with all,
May it be so.
—A prayer during times of COVID-19 by the Right Rev. Richard Bott, Moderator of the United Church of Canada