4th Sunday of Lent - St. Laurence Anglican Church 2020

Dear friends,

What a week we have had!  Please read this email and then sometime Sunday, 10 am if you can manage it, take the time to get comfortable, open your heart to God and click the image above and watch the 12 minute video I created as tomorrow's worship.  It's not perfect (this is about take 8 as the first few had boys with laser guns and then cats) but it is my offering to you as we navigate this strange and confusing time.  

After your have watched the video it's time for coffee hour and conversations!    Pick up the phone, call someone.  Someone from the parish or someone else in your life you need to connect with.  Talk about the service, talk about what is going on with you.   Ask how the other person is and really take the time to listen.    Don't be shy!  Most of you are home and I'm going to be checking up to see that you really did this! Phone a few people on Sunday morning and then again throughout the week.   I am convinced that frequent and regular phone calls is what is going to sustain us through this wilderness time or self-isolation.  If you don't have an up-to-date parish list please reply to this email and I can send you one.

Another way to connect is on our Facebook page, for those who use Facebook. It can be found here.  We now have both a public and a private page.  The public one is so we can post content for the general public and the private one is to share community news.  Many thanks to Ruth Seltner for managing these pages. 

I must say how proud of all of you I have been this past week.  Thank you to all those members of the pastoral care who, with Carolyn's leadership, phoned everyone on the parish list.   Thank-you to Cathy Fulton who has prepared some self-isolation care packages which we have delivered and will continue to deliver to those in that situation.

The phone calls we have had suggest that most of you are doing great but we're noticing that some of you who are wisely self-isolating are perhaps a bit shy or hesitant to ask for help with things like picking up groceries or prescriptions.  Please don't be shy.  Many others have offered to help and it is our privilege to be able to serve.  So much of our daily routines has been disrupted that is a welcome pleasure for those who are not high risk of infection to be able to help others.

Blessings on all of you who are Foodbank volunteers.  You may have heard that they have switched to having people phone in for a Food Hamper and then having a scheduled time to pick that hamper up. They are also looking for new volunteers to replace those faithful volunteers, many of whom are St. Laurence folk, who are senior citizens and really should be self-isolating at this time.  I found myself speaking in the press about this this week and have been doing my best to get other younger people to volunteer in your place.  Click here if you'd like to read that article.   With all the lay-offs that people are experiencing at this time the demand for the Foodbank is only going to increase over the next while.  If you are a young person or  know of younger people who can volunteer email volunteer@calgaryfoodbank.com

Another bit of good news this week is that the city extended the March low-income transit passes to be valid for April as well. That city council is thinking about the low-income transit pass and its users is a testament to the work we have done with the Calgary Alliance.  The low-income pass is only available at 5 locations in Calgary and there are notoriously long line-ups of people, many of whom have disabilities, to get them at the beginning of each month.  Kudos to the city for taking that out of the equation.  The Alliance is asking the city to go even further and provide free transit during this crisis.  Click here for a press article about this.

We have resumed the daily Lenten emails.  If you are not on the list but would like to be please respond to this email and I will be happy to add you.  Carolyn and I are sending daily prayers and meditations to centre us during this challenging time.  Starting tomorrow I will also be endeavoring to send a daily 2 minute sermon every afternoon. Watch for those in your inbox under the Wisdom Centre header.   These are intended as an offering to the wider community so please share them widely.

Again, I reiterate that my cell phone is 403-852-7849. If you cannot get hold of me at the church please use this number to call or text me. 

With every blessing to you and your loved ones

The Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee