Courage + COMMUNITY

during covid-19

Within a matter of days, the whole world has turned upside down, and we find ourselves hunkering down in our homes, practicing "social distancing," this practice that public health leaders tell us is so important to prevent the exponential spread of the Coronavirus.


Many of us are juggling working from home while simultaneously caring for children and even homeschooling. Some have lost work. Others are dealing with concerns around our health and well-being or the safety of our families. In so many ways, this is a challenging time. Maybe more than ever, we need each other.


ONLINE WORSHIP

 

Because we are listening intently to the guidance of public health experts, our in-person worship gatherings are suspended until further notice. Sadly, it is not safe to gather together. But we can still remain connected when we gather for worship and other meet-ups online via Zoom.


For the time being, until further notice, please do not come to 509 Forest Avenue. 


Instead, please join us at 11:00 am Sunday via Zoom for a time of worship and fellowship. We will continue our "Radical Jesus series," share some music, lift up our joys and concerns, pray together, and even share Communion from the safety of our homes. 


               Direct Link to the Zoom Worship Gathering

                            Sunday mornings at 11 am

                            Meeting ID:  533 469 2118


In times like this, we realize how important it is to have a faith community — a church family with whom we can share our concerns and celebrations, whom we can rely on for prayer and support when many of our social connections are no longer possible. Truly, we are in this together, and we'll get through it together, with the help of God, whose love surrounds us and unites us and sustains us through all the joys and struggles of life.


Although physical distancing is essential, we want to avoid social isolation. We want to remain connected as much as possible. That's why we're working to put together Buddy Groups, and that's why we are coordinating some additional online gatherings in the coming days utilizing the Zoom platform.


BUDDY GROUPS

Staying connected during physical distancing


Our Community Care Coordinator, Jeff Huot, has organized HGW Buddy Groups primarily by location. Each group has a Captain who will be in contact with those in his or her group to decide how the group will best be able to check in with each other daily. 


If you signed up for a Buddy Group you should be hearing from your Captain very soon. If you don't hear from anyone please contact Jeff at jeff@hopegateway.com. If you haven't signed up yet, but would like to please let Jeff know and we can still add you.


Zoom Social Connection Gatherings


We are also coordinating mid-week online gatherings, just for the purpose of checking in with each other and nurturing community during this time of physical distancing. For a list of those that are currently scheduled, send us a quick email.

Lockdown

a Reflection by Brother Richard Hendrick


Yes, there is fear.

Yes, there is isolation.

Yes, there is panic buying.

Yes, there is sickness.

Yes, there is even death.

But,

they say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

you can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

the sky is no longer thick with fumes

but blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

people are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

is busy spreading fliers with her number

through the neighbourhood

so that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today churches, synagogues, mosques and temples

are preparing to welcome

and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

to how big we really are,

to how little control we really have,

to what really matters,

to Love.

So we pray and we remember that

yes, there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes, there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes, there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes, there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul.

Yes, there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

the birds are singing again,

the sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

and we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

and though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,

Sing.


— Brother Richard Hendrick, OFM Cap.  13 March 2020