A Message from the Moderator of Presbytery

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Dear Session members in the Presbytery of London;

In Philippians 4, we read: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

I give thanks for all of the congregations in our Presbytery who continue to seek creative and safe ways to be the church during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please know that all of you are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

One of the strengths of our denomination is our interconnectedness. Therefore, the Presbytery of London will be holding an online meeting in the coming days. It is my hope that, after that meeting, some presbytery funds will be made available to all congregations within our bounds.

Please be advised that the government of Ontario has issued an order that all non-essential services within Ontario be closed as of midnight tonight. Tues., March 24, 2020. The national church office of the PCC is investigating the implications of this order on registered charities.

As we are all aware, the work and service of the church is not confined to our buildings and can continue through many other means of communication: phone calls, cards, emails, skype, streaming and other social platforms.

Therefore, I would urge congregations, until we hear a clear different directive from the national church to:
1. Ensure all church buildings are closed now for any activities.
(this includes private weddings, funerals of any size.)
Please notify all key holders that they are not to enter church
buildings until further notice.

2. If you have a church office, please find a way for your office
administrator to work from home. This may mean that your office
administrator takes the church's computer home.

3. Do not livestream in your building.

4. If you are livestreaming from your home, do not include individuals
who are outside of your own dwelling place.

5. Do not go into your church during the week. Complete church work
from home.

6. Ask one person (either a caretaker or a church volunteer) to check
on your church building a few times a week – for the purposes of insurance and to pick up mail.

7. Do not advertise a return date for public worship. We are not clear yet
of the guidelines which will be issued from Public Health. When we
are given a clear directive, you will be notified.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we know that our Saviour is with us through every storm. Please continue to pray for one another. Let us pray for courage, strength and peace for our health care providers, all Front-Liners, our governments, and for all who are isolated, families, friends and neighbours and for our world as we move through this storm together. Remain steadfast in your faith and cling the God’s Word as Psalm 121 reads: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Grace and Peace to You In Christ,

Rev. Deb

Rev. Deborah Dolbear-VanBilsen