Our pandemic lock-down is about three months long at this point.
Over that time we have become accustomed to the daily press conferences by the Prime Minister and Premier, and daily counts of jobs lost, new infections recorded, and deaths due to the virus. The numbers are staggering, and even if we remain healthy, the impact on the lives of all of us is significant. It becomes a different thing altogether if it is ourselves, a family member or friend who is infected, or someone whom we know who has died. That makes it all so much more personal.
You will be aware how distressing this virus has been in long-term care institutions, and we were struck this week to learn that Extendicare Guildwood, a neighbour of ours in Guildwood — scarcely a five-minute walk from the church — has been particularly devastated by it. Over half of the residents there have been found to have contracted the virus, 40 have died, and infections amongst staff have made the delivery of care difficult. These are our neighbours, friends, and family.
The Session is sending a letter of support to Extendicare, and we invite you to join with us in a prayer that God would be with them through all that they are going through:
Gracious and loving God, we pray for the residents, their families, and the staff of Extendicare Guildwood, that you would be present to them in the ordeal that they are going through and your peace would surround them.
For the residents, we pray for your healing and support, that they would be renewed in body and spirit, and that all their needs would be met.
For their families, we pray your peace and consolation, that you would be present to answer their fear and concern, and that they would be given hope in the assurance that you will hold their loved ones in your love.
And for the staff, we give thanks for their commitment to the care of the residents, and pray for their health, renewal and continued dedication to their work in the face of the ravages of the pandemic.
God of hope, we know that you have promised to be with your people in the darkest of the valleys through which we must travel.
Hold in your love the people of Extendicare Guildwood that they may find hope and healing in this assurance, and be given strength for their trials.
It is in the name of Jesus that we ask these things. Amen.
Wishing you all of God’s richest blessings,
Revs. Bob and Helen Smith
This message first appeared in the June 6, 2020, edition of Tidbits.