March 28 2020                                         The Fifth Sunday of Lent.                     Dear Friends, It has been two weeks now since we have received word that in-person church services and activities were suspended as part of physical distancing in light of Covid-19.   We have seen tighter measures being put into place across Canada (and the world) to safeguard against further infections and to protect people that have underlying health complications that make them vulnerable.  Most people are cooperating by diligently adhering to these best practices that include:                                                   ·         Washing Hands Thoroughly & Frequently - using at least a 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer and washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.                                                                                                             ·         Maintain Physical Distancing & Reducing Contact - by keeping a 2 meter distance to others and limiting the number of people and frequency of picking up groceries and medications.  By self-isolating at home as much as possible.                                                                                                            ·         Avoid Touching your Face - to prevent the possible transfer of virus from your hands to your eyes, ears and nose.                                                   ·         Practising Respiratory Hygiene - by covering your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you sneeze and disposing the used tissue immediately.                                                                                                      ·         Disinfecting Surfaces Frequently - by wiping down surfaces with a disinfecting cleaner or wipes and washing clothes after using them.        During times of crisis or darkness there is always an opportunity for great spiritual growth and transformation.  This is always true, but especially in the Lenten season of self-examination, and in our current circumstances.  Even though times like these are unsettling, we don’t need to live in fear of harm.  As the psalmist says, “Though I walk through the darkest valley… Thou art with me.”   I have made contact by phone with all parishioners and I am happy to let you know that everyone is physically well and has all they need at the moment.  As is expected, anxiety is high at the moment, but we are all in this together and I am already seeing that this situation is strengthening our relationship with one another and with God.  Our Pastoral Care team will also be checking in with you periodically, just to see how you are doing and if there is any way we can be of help. The church building may be closed at the moment, but we are still serving those in need in our midst.  The homeless still need to be fed, and the Inn of the Good Shepherd has been short on supplies. We are helping by sending the Inn a $2,000 donation, and we will be monitoring their ongoing needs.                           We are also adapting by doing more things electronically, such as:                 ·         Utilizing Facebook - live-streaming the Sunday worship services onto our Facebook page (St John in the Wilderness Anglican Church, Bright’s Grove, ON).  If you have not joined this group, I encourage you do do so by searching for the above page title at the top of you Facebook page.  This is a great way to stay informed of what is happening within our church and to stay connected with one another.                                                                      ·         Utilizing Video Conferencing – currently your Executive Staff, Parish Council and various church groups are using Zoom (www.zoom.us) to continue meeting with one another.  This is currently be offered to anyone free to set up an account.                                                                                  ·         Updating Our Website – you can visit our site at www.stjohninthewilderness.com to view sermons, minutes from Parish Council and Vestry meetings and various church information and activities.  Parish Council has currently struck up a subcommittee to explore options on improving and modernizing our website.  Stay tuned.                                            ·         Making Donations Electronically– your Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer and Envelope Secretary are currently moving towards using “email transfers” to make it easier for you to donate to parish.  Communication from your Wardens will be coming soon on the details of how this will work.  And we also encourage members to use PAP (Preauthorized Automatic Payment) as forms of payment. To start this up or to increase your givings, contact our Envelope Secretary, Sandra Lamourieux. At this point, we are still able to accept cheques in the mail (St. John in the Wilderness, 2896 Old Lakeshore Rd., Bright’s Grove, ON, N0N 1C0).  For the time being, we have decided to suspend Fundscript (shopping cards to buy things with a percentage going to the church) since the risk of multiple people handling forms, money and cards outweighs the benefits.                   ·         Establishing an Emergency Call Tree – to be able to quickly inform you of any urgent matters that may arise.                                                         ·         Updating our Contact Information – by asking all parishioners to respond to last week’s email with you name(s), address, home numbers, cell numbers, and email addresses. Let’s continue to keep one another in mind, in our hearts, and in our prayers. Please do the good deed of calling one another on the phone, even call those parishioners you don’t know that well, just to say “hi” and to let them know you’re thinking about them.  And remember to call me as well (at 519-312-4294) if there is any way I can be of help. If it’s not something I can personally do, I’ll likely know someone who can, so please don’t hesitate to call me.  Yours In Christ, Father Shaun+

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St John in the Wilderness Anglican Church Brights Grove

2896 Old Lakeshore Rd., Bright’s Grove, ON, N0N 1C0  

Established 1857

Rector: The Reverend Shaun Eaton shauneaton@diohuron.org

The Ministers: The People of St. John in the Wilderness 

Organist: Susan Halliday

Music Director: Mr. Brenden Fraser 

Secretary: Ms Heather Holbrook 

Phone: 519-869-2403 

Website: www.stjohninthewilderness.com 

Email: stjohninthewildernesschurch@gmail.com 

Want to bring your electronic device to church? The Wifi password at St John in the Wilderness is $Churchisgreat1

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© Ken Walker 2012