UPDATE: This page is out of date. We will be keeping a special pandemic response page going forward.
I am writing to update you on our planning around Coronavirus. As you may be aware, we have been instructed by the Diocese to restrict our functions to only those that are essential, meaning that they have instructed all churches to not hold coffee hours, shared meals, groups or committees. They have also asked that individuals use their judgement in attending worship, and encourage churches to be creative in live streaming, pastoral visiting, phone calls, etc. They have encouraged that churches that run meal programs for the marginalized continue to do so, and follow precautions outlined by public health authorities.
With discussion from our Vestry Executive, we have decided to remain open for our People Presence and Open Hours programming, throughout the week. To make sure that all of our volunteers, staff, and guests are thought of during this time, we have implemented more rigorous protocols around serving, and a regular cleaning of surfaces and seating. Jim and Elizabeth have done a fantastic job with implementing and explaining changes to our volunteers and guests and we are thankful for their efforts.
In terms of other folks on the square, San Esteban has decided to cancel all services for the time being. Trinity Square Cafe has decided to close for the coming two weeks. Most groups like AlAnon, Three Jewels, and others have decided to suspend their groups and provide support remotely or in smaller groups. So it will be much quieter here than usual.
As a community that is committed to the fulfillment of our mission and vision of a just and loving world, we will make every effort to stay open, care for the people, and live for each other as long as we possibly can. We are monitoring the situation closely in Toronto and dialoguing with our fellow downtown churches and organizations to provide for the best path forward. We will continue to update the HT list and our website as changes occur.
I believe this is a very fertile moment, and through our creativity and open mindedness we may find opportunity in these unfortunate times to come closer together and find new ways to fulfill the desires for justice in our hearts. Already I see great mutual support happening and suggestions of how we can gather in different ways that support our most vulnerable. I am excited to see what comes.
I am open to any and all feedback, I encourage you to discuss this with each other, and please, if you are at risk of becoming seriously ill, take the necessary precautions.
Peace and blessings to all,