December 17, 2020
PASTORAL LETTER From Our Bishops
Churches closed until January 15th, 2021
After consultation with our colleagues in the Dioceses of Saskatoon & Qu’Appelle, we have decided, along with the unanimous support of the Executive Committee to close our Churches and buildings until January 15th, 2021. With you we are hurt and disappointed by this necessity.
As always we make the journey to Bethlehem with the shepherds in our hearts and we look forward to gathering in the New Year in our houses of bread to celebrate the Eucharist and to receive Christ who was born to us and for us.
This means that every Church and Building in the Diocese of Saskatchewan is CLOSED for public worship and any other public gathering effective immediately and until January 15th, 2021.
There are two possible exceptions.
For those Churches under Bishop Adam’s direct jurisdiction funerals will be allowed in the Church with an absolute maximum of 30 people, where there is enough room for six feet between households, and with someone there to enforce those numbers as well as all the other necessary precautions including hand sanitizing, the use of masks and the prohibition on hugging or hand shaking.
No services, including funerals will be allowed in Churches and buildings under Bishop’s Michael direct jurisdiction.
Outdoor worship is still allowed by the new provincial rules but the gathering size appears reduced to ten. If you intend to do this, please check first with Public Health. If there is a real need, there is nothing to preclude the remote delivery of Communion, in one kind, either outside a house at the doorstep or in a car (please check with Public Health) if you intend to do the latter.
The birth of Jesus Christ in time and place is a universal and eternal reality and we celebrate it still in this odd and difficult time and not in the places we want.
Christ was born, not in a pandemic, but at a time of dislocation and stress when the Holy Family was unable to be with their extended family.
We receive him still, in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving.
Adam S. Halkett & Michael W. Hawkins