Minister’s Report Wednesday, April 22, 2020.
A report in three parts.
3) My reflections: which appear below on this page.
It has been a very difficult period of time: for you moreso than I.You are all living in one of the provincial hotspots for COVID-19. You have family and friends who are active on the front lines or are patients at Anson: you may even be on the front lines yourself. I am here in Hamilton. Our numbers climb, but not like yours. All I can do is pray, call/text and lead worship—and always with a sense that what I can offer is not enough and that you are all worthy of so much more.
The COVID-19 epidemic has affected the Cayuga Pastoral Charge at a critical time in in our life and ministry together.
The Cayuga community of faith decided to stay in its building in the fall.
Early in March, that same community within the Pastoral Charge stated that it could not continue with the Turkey Supper. By the time the Board met on March 11, we heard that the Beef Auction would not happen.
By March 15, mass gatherings were halted. By March 22, our services were removed from both churches and into my basement.
The nature of the crisis is constantly changing. In very short periods of time decisions needed to be made to ensure that our community could continue to survive during the crisis. The finance team under the leadership of Jim Smith and M and P under the leadership of Rose Anne Maracle have been working tirelessly to keep up on every bit of information that will have a direct impact on our church: they receive what I receive with few exceptions. They are working very hard on your behalf. I am proud of them.
Worship provides an opportunity for people to gather together. Gather is an important word in worship practice because it describes what the Holy Spirit does to us: The Holy Spirit gathers us together. On Monday the 16th, I felt compelled by the Spirit to put a flexible, organic structure in place that would allow us to be gathered together. In that gathering, we could first -and foremost- worship God. we would also be able to receive news and pray for one another. Church Together came out of that. I would like to thank our musicians and music directors for stepping up and serving all of you with such passion and such excellence.
I have been receiving Sunday Night Light photos for a few weeks. I encourage you all to send me yours so we can add to the video we are making.
What you don’t see in the executive notes or summary is how broken I actually am. And that’s good, because you don’t need to see that. But you have a right to know that not being able to provide funeral care upsets me deeply. Not being able to lay on hands and pray with you face to face upsets me. Not serving communion upsets me. These are things I was called and ordained to do. Most of the calls I make/receive are from people in crisis: the calls have become more complex and more emotionally charged. I do what I can: it’s never enough. My hope and prayer is that people will continue to let me know who needs a call. I will call them back.
I appreciate your patience with me as I have continued to learn the tech needed to carry the service into your homes. That has been one of steepest and most emotional learning curves on which I have ever been. And you were all worth it.
Stay well, stay safe.
Be encouraged and encouraging.
The Rev. Debbie McMillan