After listening to the COVID-19 news updates, Pastor Lisa and I felt that it would be best for us to cancel all church gatherings of any kind this week - Monday, March 16 to Sunday, March 22. This also includes the Ladies Morning Out Fellowship scheduled for Saturday, March 21. Our Sunday School and Sunday Services will remained cancelled for this Sunday, March 22.
Please consider some ways by which you might be of help to someone.
For example -
Consider phoning a senior to see how they are doing and consider offering to go and get groceries for them or pick up something they need from a pharmacy.
During this week of March Break and for two weeks afterwards, the schools are closed. This means some parents who have to be at work might be having a childcare problem. I would like to suggest that if you are available and you know some parents who might need some childcare in these weeks ahead, please consider volunteering to look after their children while they are at work. This is one simple way that some people might be a help to others during this challenging time.
Perhaps you can just phone up a friend or relative to see how they are doing, read a couple of Bible verses with them and pray for them.
If you know of someone who has a medical appointment and they don’t drive, and it is not virus related kindly offer to drive him or her.
I want to update you on my personal situation. I (Pastor Nick) had the privilege of attending a fantastic Pastors’ and Church Leaders’ Conference called Exponential on March 2 - 5 in Florida. The conference was on church outreach and church planting and was attended by about 5,500 pastors and church leaders. The conference was held at a very large church. The good news is there were no announcements about anyone having the COVID-19 virus.
After the church conference my daughter Amy and my two grandchildren, 5-year-old Jani and 7-month-old Júlia joined me for some vacation time and we returned to Toronto on Saturday, March 14. Before I left for the church conference, only people who had been to China, Iran, and Italy needed to self-isolate upon their return to Canada. By the time Amy, my two grandchildren and I returned, the recommendation and request from our government has been for everyone returning to Canada to self-isolate for 14 days. Thus, I am needing to self-isolate until Saturday, March 28. My wife Cindy is actually staying at the home of our son, Jeremy and his wife, Kerby so that I can self-isolate.
I am feeling perfectly healthy but I am self-isolating in cooperation with our government’s request and recommendations. I am working and planning to work on my upcoming sermons and other responsibilities that will not require me to be in contact with other people. I am very sorry that at least up until March 28 I will not be able to do any visitation or attend any of your functions. I want to express sincere appreciation to the rest of our staff for their ongoing ministry and work.
Let us all follow the recommendations which are repeatedly being communicated by our Public Health authorities and government to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you have not already heard and seen Pastor Lisa’s Outar’s message from Sunday, March 15 called, “The God of My Valleys”. You can watch at it on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTbCwThTvHg or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RosewoodCOTN/videos/1331286147073406/.
You can also listen to the audio only at www.rosewoodchurch.ca/sermons or use the links to listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Soundcloud or Spotify.
Let us continue to pray for God’s solution to this current challenge. Let us remember that the Lord is with us. God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble.
Sincerely and lovingly,
Pastor Nick Stavropoulos