Dear St. Mary’s Parishioners, 

Another sunny day in paradise, and we are dealing with a pandemic. I do hope you are all isolating from others and only going out for essentials.  

Some people did not receive the email that let you know that THE CHURCH IS CLOSED until mid May. The bishop’s office shut down public worship in the diocese and closed all church buildings. The only ones allowed in the buildings are KAT and myself. And a few others, under certain circumstances – ie, to issue cheques, and to check on the security and upkeep of the buildings, etc. 

As I told you in my last update, my husband Jim returned home from Portugal and got sick the very night he returned. I am SO grateful he came home before the virus hit him. He will not be tested but symptoms are congruent with Covid-19. He is doing well, extremely tired, but in good spirits. His fever and cough are all but gone. Thank you for your prayers! 

So….I am now officially quarantined at home. Which means I will not be up in Nanoose for at least 2 weeks. But I will keep in touch by phone, Skype, Zoom and email…… as well as praying for you all at 10:00am every day! Office hours have changed so KAT can work safely at home but please be assured that both KAT and I can access our phone lines from home so if you leave a message, we will get back to you within 24 hours or less (Monday through Thursday). KAT will be in the office from 10am-4pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Know that KAT and I will still be hard at work!! 

If you want to drop off your weekly envelopes instead of mailing them, just ring the doorbell when you arrive and KAT will instruct you what to do. If you can keep up your giving during this time, it is important. And if you want to apply to use the Electronic Plate that helps everyone stay clear of touching money or envelopes. Thank you! 

Your Wardens had purchased a tablet with which to record a abbreviated Sunday service but now that I am stuck at home, that has been put on hold. Instead, the following options are there for you to choose from: 

1.   Rev. Clara Plamondon, from St. Paul’s in Nanaimo, invites St. Mary’s parishioners to attend a virtual service there. Go on to the St. Paul’s website:   Click the tab “Worship” at the top of the page, and at 10am Sunday, you will see a link to the service. Click that and join in. 

2.   I will post my sermon by tomorrow morning on our website:
Click on the tab “Rector’s Page” to read it. 

3.    Check out our Diocesan Website:   www.bc.anglican.cato see what other resources and services are available to you from the comfort of your own home. 

I am sure we will all miss our time together in worship and community, but this is time in the desert. We don’t know where and how we are being lead, but our scripture and hopefully our hearts tell us that we are headed into the promised land. What it will look like after these days of wandering in unknown territory is anyone’s guess. So we need to stay in touch, support each other, encourage each other, and keep that faith!  And when we can finally gather again in our lovely little church, we will really be ready to celebrate and receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. That will be a special day, indeed. 

In the meantime, I envision the meal Jesus shares with us each Sunday as being shared in these unusual times in the way we reach out to each other, bringing food to those who need it, and love to those who are isolated and feeling down. This is what Jesus shared with his friends – food and love, wisdom and truth. Let us do the same. 

Here’s a simple prayer you might want to say before meals to remind yourselves that we are all one in the body of Christ: 

Loving God, thank You for the food before us, our family and friends and the love between us. Strengthen and protect us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(Love is powerful. Jesus broke bread and that act is one that nourishes families, friends and church families all over the world. This prayer before meals reminds you of, and reinforces, your love for one another and for Jesus. We come together in person, or through prayer because we need each other and God!) 

I’ve heard back from a couple of people the answers to the questions I posed in the last update. 

People said that they find spending time in the garden really helpful. The sunshine and fresh air are critical to good health.

I also heard from you that humour is essential. I agree!! Between loads of laundry (wash your clothes when you come home from being out amongst others), and making nutritious meals and drinks for Jim, I look for opportunities to enjoy the day. Yesterday walking past a nearby farm, I saw 3 little lambs jumping around, knocking into each other and their mother, and making the sweetest little sounds. That made me laugh! 

The last night I spend up in Nanoose, Jan Evans and I watched a documentary on Netflix called The Biggest Little Farm – the true story of a young couple who begin to farm and come to learn how interconnected life is. The filming is stunning (Onnig! Jerry!). The movie reminded me of how interconnected we are, and how dependent on the well-being of each other!!

That’s it for now from the OutPost in Shawnigan Lake.Take good care, wash your hands, don’t go out unless you really need to, eat well and rest up and reach out to someone. And….. pray for each other and the world. 

Every blessing,