Greetings in the name of Jesus, the one who has forgiven us and whose lead we follow.
This past Sunday afternoon, March 15th, the Alberta COVID-19 response team had their daily update. Due to COVID-19 now moving into the general population we believe it is wise and appropriate to follow their direction and suspend our worship gatherings. We have a contingent of seniors, and others, who are higher risk not only to contract the sickness, but also to die from it. We have also cancelled the Annual Meeting, and cancelled the Ladies Retreat. Please call ministry leaders to learn of other adjustments.
We will do our best to stay in contact with all who are associated with Balmoral. Terry, as staff pastor, and Jabin for the younger folk, will be carrying the bulk of this load and together we will have to somehow chart this new uncharted territory. Calls will be both over the phone and in person. One of the dangers of isolation is just that, isolation. Please reach out to each other and maintain friendships and personal contact. But please if you are at all sick not in person. Also, please remember some might need help with groceries and other supplies.
Plans are in the works so that we can put a partial service replacement onto our website, perhaps with some singing and a sermon or devotional. This will hopefully be weekly and in time for a Saturday or Sunday family viewing.
We do plan to continue with our local Chapel expenses and missionary support, so if you feel so inclined please stop by the chapel to help take care of this, or give Heather a call or email. The chapel will be open regular office hours, but not Sundays.
One of the most interesting things about all of this is the fear, the anxiety. Fear of the unknown. Anxiety over the future. It's understandable, we hear reports of people dying, thankfully very few in Canada so far. COVID-19 is serious, and it's death rate is high but fear can consume and overtake us. The reality is we are all going to die. We just don't know when, but followers of Jesus know the answer to death. Jesus is not in the grave, He is Risen. Death is conquered.
The reality is God's provision is bigger than the stock market, or the housing market, or the job market.
The reality is God's love assures us He will walk with us all the way, even into and through death.
We need not fear, God is with us.
That doesn't need we should be stupid, do not put the Lord your God to the test.
But we can trust him. And even if He doesn't save us in this life, the next is so much better, there is no comparison. He has gone to prepare a place for us, and when it's ready He'll escort us there. With so much despair about, remember we should wait for him, and not be rash and show up before the mansion is prepared.
Terry is available if you need someone to talk with - just contact the chapel and he will connect with you.
From those who serve Balmoral as elders, March 17, 2020.