We are not people of fear: we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety: we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity.
We are your people God,
giving and loving,
wherever we are,
whatever it costs
for as long as it takes
wherever you call us. Amen.
(Prayers about the Outbreak, for the Christian Community: Church of England, 2020)
Back in February, as we entered back into lockdown due to the most recent outbreak involving the COVID-19 variant, this has been poignant as a part of my daily prayer. With this act of prayer, as clergy, so many of us have been reaching out and checking with our parishioners, community members, and colleagues. In Mount Pearl this has been quite challenging as we have responded to schools, families, and community members that have been directly affected. Whole families have been isolated with COVID-19, affecting the community in its entirety.
Mount Pearl is a community that shares and works together so well. Whether we are celebrating the Frosty Festival, hosting sports activities, or sharing in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the community spirit is strong. These strong bonds have been essential for us as we came together at this time. This past month the municipality of Mount Pearl, Eastern Health, and the Parish of the Ascension partnered in order to find a way for businesses and individuals to donate to support the many front-line health professionals who were providing care as they administered COVID-19 tests at Mount Pearl Senior High and the Reid Centre. Community members and business members, as well as the churches of Mount Pearl, identified a great need as the testing has occurred on parking lots during some of the hardest days of this winter. It has been the privilege of the Ascension to administer the COVID-19 Frontline Workers Care Fund, and during this time we have received over $3,500. This money has been used to provide lunches for the workers, and any excess monies will be donated to Mount Pearl Foodbanks when this most recent lockdown has subsided. If you would like to donate, please visit: www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/parish-of-the-ascension-mount-pearl/
In addition, the Ministerial of Mount Pearl came together with the Municipality of Mount Pearl, Mount Pearl Senior High, and the Mount Pearl Senior’s Independence Group to record a vigil. This vigil highlights the message of hope and care that our faith offers to the world. Prayers, scripture readings, music, and messages from community members and clergy provide solace and comfort for all who may be experiencing anxiety, fear, hopelessness, and grief.
May we all continue to open our hearts and lives so we can be people of courage, safety, generosity, and love.