March 14, 2020 Dear Friends, It is times like these that it is good to stop, take a deep breath and reminder ourselves how fortunate we are to be living in a country with experts that are doing their very best to keep us all safe and healthy. We are all also so fortunate to be a part of a caring and compassionate community that looks out for one another and does its best to love their neighbour…even in the midst of, especially in the midst of, trying times. The church has long been an agent of calm, and reassurance. As a church, we are called to tend to those who are sick, fearful, or anxious; to use the best information available to us as we do so; and to be both comforted and stirred to action by our hope in Christ.
In response to the need to keep the most vulnerable in our community safe and to help our health care system, we are choosing to suspend larger gatherings of our church family. That means, for the time being, regular worship is being suspended at Port Perry United Church. The church remains open on Sunday mornings for prayer and the building remains open during office hours.
For those entering the church the following practices have been put into place… ~Hand sanitizer is available throughout the building. ~ Staff will not be shaking hands during this outbreak… but a warm greeting, of course, will still be offered!! ~Those attending for prayer will be asked to spread out as much as possible in the sanctuary. ~ Custodial staff have been directed to increase the frequency and extent of sanitizing high contact surfaces with disinfectant. Everyone is encouraged to: ~Stay home when ill. ~Clean your hands upon entry to the building. ~Greet others with friendly words (rather than with hugs or handshakes). ~Sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow, or a tissue, and wash your hands after. ~Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with unwashed hands. ~Take seriously the recommendation of the Provincial and Federal Government to avoid gatherings where seniors are in attendance (so that means church!) for 14 days upon return from international travel.
There is no need for panic or stockpiling toilet paper! But there is need for calm, compassionate people looking out for their neighbour. We hope to be that neighbour to Port Perry. We are very hopeful, as are our medical authorities, that all these measures will help slow down the spread of the virus. Please let us know of any needs that you are aware of in the community and we will do our best to meet them. If you are in need of prayers or just someone to talk to, please do not hesitate to reach out.