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Dear People of Ascension,

My daughter, Amelia, and I arrived home from Cuba last night.  We were grateful to return home after a safe and lovely vacation.  Part of the "new normal" is not knowing what will be normal tomorrow.  As soon as we landed I had a call from Bishop Shaw updating me on the latest diocesan decisions and developments which Rev. Phil communicated with you yesterday.  I am attaching a link to Bishop Shaw's letter at the end of this post.

I am taking the advice of the Canadian Government and choosing to self-isolate for the next two weeks.  Though Amelia and I feel fine and took every precaution while travelling, we were, of course, in the company of many people from around the world.  I do not want to put anyone at any risk during these times.

That said, I plan on offering the parish ministry in as many ways as possible.  Through online communication, connection to resources and updates, and through phone calls.  Most importantly, in my daily prayers.

As long as it is safe, Phil will be in the office during his regular office hours and people who feel well and are wanting some company or pastoral care are welcome to drop in.  He is also available for pastoral visits and can bring communion to people in one kind.  Please be in touch with him if you'd like to have such a visit.  

Over the next couple of days, Phil and I will communicate the ways in which we can and will offer you spiritual care and practical support through the church community.  You will note that Bishop Shaw has asked us to think about creative ways to "work-around" the isolation that may be upon us in coming weeks.  Within our own little community we may be asking you to reach out to us so we can coordinate efforts to (among other things)...

- deliver food to those who can't get out (you can let us know if you need delivery or are available for delivery)

-are feeling scared, lonely, particularly isolated and would benefit from a visit or phone call

-have an excess of toilet paper and want to share

Please feel free to reach out to me or Phil.  Our emails are:

[email protected]  &  [email protected]

Our cell #s are:

416-576-7480  & 705-607-4546

 

My prayers are with you all and particularly with those who find times like this to cause fear and anxiety.  It's rather easy to say, trust in God - sometimes harder to put into practice, to find that deep peace in one's heart.  Simple practices like taking time each day to read a portion of scripture, catching up on the news once a day rather than all day, calling a friend and talking, putting things in perspective, saying a prayer even when prayer doesn't come naturally - such things will help each of us navigate this "new normal" that is changing every day.

And remember the words of the One who loves us with an everlasting love, the One who understands human weariness and the overwhelming nature of being human at times...

Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

(Matthew 11:28)

With prayers for peace in your hearts,

Ruthanne

The Reverend Canon Ruthanne Ward