Josephine Hall
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Hello and welcome to COVID Communiqué 47. Spring sunshine and the joy of the Resurrection are bringing us light just as COVID-19 moves into another, darker phase. Let’s hope the former gives us strength to deal with the latter. 

The facts are grim: hospitalizations and ICU admissions are rising sharply, in many places to the worst they have been at any point so far — and increasingly younger people are being affected. It may be the time to consider recording all or part of your services in people’s homes. 

Why? Ontario has declared an emergency and issued a stay-at-home order, while Quebec has steadily increased restrictions. Going beyond what is technically required by government, and doing everything possible to limit the number of people who gather to record online liturgies, is only sensible as we struggle against variants of concern. Furthermore, seeing people at home reading the scripture and prayers of the people, even delivering sermons and performing music, will be a powerful reminder of how important it is to “stay home, save lives.”

As a further safety measure, permission to offer communion from the reserved sacrament in a “parking lot” service is withdrawn until further notice. Also, since we haven’t mentioned this in a while, if you’re asked to host a vaccine clinic, don’t hesitate — but please let us know through the help desk if you do ([email protected]ottawa.anglican.ca).  As always, this is also where you can reach us with questions about increasing the safety of liturgies, or anything else. 

We will keep monitoring public health and safety decisions that may affect how our diocese operates and we’ll update you on developments as necessary. 

On another item, Sanjay Grover, our Director of Financial Ministry, and the Insurance Working Group of our diocese have developed a brief questionnaire to gather baseline information on long-term tenants in parish buildings across the diocese. Please read Sanjay’s letter here. You can find a copy of the questionnaire here. https://bit.ly/2Q98WGX. You can find a copy of the questionnaire here: https://bit.ly/3dP662m.

COVID Communiqué is produced by our senior staff:
Shane Parker, Bishop
Beth Bretzlaff, Dean
Linda Hill, Executive Archdeacon
Sanjay Grover, Director of Financial Ministry
Peter John Hobbs, Director of Community Ministries
Jane Scanlon, Director of Communications & Stewardship Development
Carol Sinclair, Director of Human Resources
Michael Garner, Public Health Advisor