A message from Rev. Scott McAndless
Dear people of St. Andrew’s Hespeler,
We at St. Andrew’s, like everyone else, have had considerable difficulties navigating the ever evolving COVID-19 crisis. If we were simply to rely on the directives that are being given to us, we would go on with our service more or less as usual. The Presbyterian Church in Canada has called on congregations to continue with Sunday services unless the local health authorities indicate otherwise. And, since the local authorities are only asking for gatherings of more than 250 to be cancelled, we are clear to proceed.
Nevertheless, official directives do not seem to be quite sufficient at the moment. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution and care for our people, let me state that there will not be a regular morning worship service tomorrow, March 15th, but here is what will happen.
I will go to the church on Sunday morning for 10 am. I will be there and lead in worship and there will be a few people to assist me. There will be no Sunday School this week.There will be prayers and other elements of worship and I will preach a sermon. All of this will be videotaped and posted here on the webpage by 2:00 pm at the latest. I encourage you all to participate in worship by watching. While our worship and especially our prayers will touch on the present crisis, I will, in the sermon, encourage us to lift our eyes beyond the crisis to look at where God may be calling on us to go as a church in our ministry to the community. The sermon title is: When there is no water on the journey.
During this time on Sunday morning, the church will be open. If you are not sick and have no symptoms, you may come in and join us in the sanctuary. However, we will require that everyone who enters must lovingly practice social distance. We will remain two meters apart from each other (unless we come from the same household).
Finally, please remember the church in your prayers and in practical ways. Even if many of our activities are shut down for a while, the financial needs of the congregation will actually not lessen. We appreciate all those who have made their commitment to the church through Pre-Authorized giving. We probably could not weather this without your commitment. If you are able to help us, please consider online giving. There are links on the web page.
We will be assessing the situation throughout this week and the next. Please know that St. Andrew’s is still in operation and will respond to your needs even if we may have to limit face-to-face interactions. For now, Bible study will continue, and the Food Bank is expected to still take place on Thursday. I will begin to post daily prayers and meditations for you on the web page. Please continue to check in.
Be in prayer for the people in the front lines battling the virus and treating its victims. Respond to the needs of your brothers and sisters here at St. Andrew’s, as well as those of your family, friends and neighbourhood. Be loving and full of care as you treat all people with respect even if (in these strange times) you may need to keep at a physical distance. Together we will rise above these unprecedented times. (please pass this message along to people whom you know are not online)
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10
With love and care in Christ’s name,
Rev. Scott McAndless