Sunday March 22, 2020 Fourth Sunday in Lent
To: The Reverend Dana Dickson, the people of Trinity Bradford and all joining in this Facebook gathering:
I greet you in the Name of our Loving, Liberating and Life-giving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I am very sorry that we are unable to gather for worship at this time as I had hoped to be with you today in your parish. I bring you the prayers of the College of Bishops for your ministry and the work and witness of your parish in the community you serve.
How quickly life has changed for all with the advent of COVID-19 virus. Many describe the time in which we live as uncertain, fearful, and unbelievable. As a people of Faith let us hear again the words of the risen Christ when he first appeared to his frightened disciples behind closed doors: “Peace be with you.” I encourage all of us not to be fearful in the midst of anxiety and uncertainty.
In today’s gospel story we read of Jesus giving sight to a man who was born blind. Many in his neighbourhood thought that his affliction resulted from either his parents’ or his own sinfulness. There are some who still think like that today. The healing Jesus gave to the man was a sign that God is present in our daily lives and is a loving, liberating and life-giving God. The Psalmist in today’s reading also reminds us that God is with us even in the darkest moments of our lives: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me.”Psalm 23: 4
We are called to do many things different and even challenging at this time. Except for essential services, we are asked to stay in our homes, practice good hygiene as we should always be doing, and self-isolate if we believe or know that we are unwell. We show good neighbourliness by adhering to these directives and I strongly encourage that we follow the advice and direction of health authorities and our bishop. We will get through this trying time in our lives by the love and grace of God.
I am happy to hear how many in our churches and communities are caring for one another and especially the most vulnerable. Let us continue to care for each other and keep in touch by using the wonderful technology we have to connect without being in the personal space of others.
I assure you of my prayers for all of you, our communities, medical personnel and those who are making daily decisions on our behalf to keep us safe. My sisters and brothers in Christ we are God’s beloved and nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love. May the Peace of Christ be with you.
The Right Reverend Peter DeC. Fenty
Area Bishop of York-Simcoe
Bishop Suffragan of Toronto