19 March, AD 2020
The Feast of St. Joseph
TO: All the Clergy and Laity of the Anglican Province of Christ the King
FROM: The Archbishop and the Council of Bishops
I am writing to you today out of the abundance of Love that Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, has for you all and as if I were able to be in each of your churches and homes during this turbulent time to speak to you in person. Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has caused all of us to begin adjusting to a new “normal” in both our professional and personal lives. Many school systems have closed, restaurants and other dining establishments have suspended eat-in options and now are offering only curbside take out. Many businesses have had to furlough their employees. We are now to practice “social distancing” and our border with Canada has closed to all but essential traffic. All of which in an attempt to slow the progression of the virus.
The personal and economic disruption of Covid-19 is something which many of us have never experienced during our lifetime. These times, for us, are unprecedented. The developments associated with this pandemic are extremely fluid and are changing rapidly. We, too, need to remain adaptable as we strive to adjust to its challenges. All of us need to be vigilant, not fearful; prepared, not anxious; aware, but not desperate; generous, not hoarding; calm, not panicking; and use common sense as we acclimate to this new norm. St. Paul reminds us in his second Epistle to St. Timothy, “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind.”
In recent weeks we have experienced an increase in the number of Coronavirus cases and the number is climbing every day. We have not reached the peak of the outbreak. Different areas of our country are under different mandates as local health officials try to stem the number of people infected ~ all the way from limiting sizes of groups, practicing “social distancing”, to legal “shelter in place” orders from civil authorities. Many of our Parishes, depending upon the severity of the outbreak in different areas of the country, have already curtailed social gatherings, limited the number of their services, chosen to close altogether, or are under mandates from the civil authorities to close. Although some may question the legalities of such “orders”, it is important for us, now, to obey them. As long as they do not conflict with God’s laws, as St. Paul reminds us, we are to obey the civil magistrates.