Dear friends, colleagues and siblings in Christ,
Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we, as the body of Christ, have committed ourselves to doing whatever was necessary to protect the most vulnerable among us. This has been, and continues to be, a ministry of love and service to our neighbour for which I am so very grateful and proud.
In recent weeks Ministers of Health and individual Public Health Units across the territory of our Synod have begun to caution about the need for increased hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
For that reason, I am once again strongly recommending that all participants return to wearing a well fitting mask during in-person worship as well as during all indoor social events. It is also my strong counsel that Worship Leaders should be masked when they are not speaking and while presiding at the table/distributing communion.
As people of faith, we play a big part in the necessary collective action needed to protect the most vulnerable in our communities. With the ongoing circulation of COVID-19, the rise in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as influenza we need to ensure that our worshipping practices are as safe and possible. In these ways, we extend our ministry of hospitality!
In addition, I would encourage Rostered and Lay Leaders to screen for symptoms regularly, and to stay home when showing signs of illness. As always, I encourage each of us to ensure that our COVID-19 vaccines are up to date, and to get the flu shot as soon as possible.
I know that it may feel discouraging to once again be asked to return to these practices. And yet, we are better equipped to address these needs than ever before. Our collective actions today will help to ensure the health and safety of all God’s children.
Thank you for your continued partnership in this ministry. I am truly grateful for each and every one of you.
May God bless you and keep you in God’s care!
Bishop Michael Pryse