for the prettier letter, look at the PDF Easter 2020
Christ has died!
Christ is risen! .
Christ will come again!
These are unsettled times. I started writing this letter before Coronavirus 19 hit Montréal. It was a different letter. It’s now Monday, March 30th and the letter has changed several times, because things keep changing.
Exactly 100 years ago the world was in the midst of the Spanish Flu. It infected ¼ of the world’s population. I imagine it was unsettling – especially as the world was getting over the shock of World War 1. Since then there have been more wars, economic booms and busts, a cure for TB, Aids, Jive, Rock & Roll, the Cultural Revolution, the Pill, and the FLQ Crisis. As we’re spending so much time at home, imagine what has changed there. Most houses have telephones, cameras, colour TVs and computers – and many of us now have all four in our pocket or purse. Interesting times. Exciting times. Unsettling times.
I’m reminded of a Saturday.
The one after the Friday when Jesus died.
Can you imagine how the disciples felt? They had left their homes to follow Christ and learn from this amazing person. Somebody they believed could change the world… but was now dead. He’d been killed by the government and religious leaders, and it had been supported by ‘the people’. Were they supposed to carry on? Would they be next? The world had changed so much since the spontaneous celebratory parade less than a week before. Can you imagine that?
Then Saturday ended, and Sunday dawned,
and the world changed again.
Jesus was alive!
Hope was back!
and there was peace in their souls and a renewal of their faith.
Some of the changes at Kensington is that the building has been closed – but not the congregation. The Session is now meeting weekly through video conferencing. We are now posting services on the web page so that you can share them at home, and we will be trying to share them online as well through a video conference (that you can also get to through a Toronto phone number). We also offer ‘gathering’ with a prayer group and the ‘Kensington Café’. There are details on this on our website: kensingtonchurch.ca/covid-opportunities/
In addition, we’re adding to the ways that you can support us financially. As you can imagine, this is going to hit the church budget hard. We still have upkeep and maintenance bills to pay. We believe it to be just (morally right) to continue to pay our staff, even those who can’t come in to work. At the same time, we will be reassessing what our ‘renters’ are expected to offer as they can no longer access the space in our building. We’re also not able to collect our weekly offerings as our congregation must avoid groups or stay at home for their own health and safety.
To help relieve this financial challenge, we invite you to try one of these options. You use the ‘donate now’ page on our website to set up either a one time or an automatic recurring offering that you control directly. Or you could use the enclosed form to sign up for PAR – which would automatically transfer the sum you chose from your account to the church once a month. You also control PAR, but through the church office. We are also hoping to have Interac e-Transfers set up soon. All your donations will be included on your tax receipt.
Normally in these appeal letters we ask you to donate to a specific project at Kensington. With this medical crisis we plan to send 50% of your donations to Centraide and 50% to our church operating fund to provide essential support for Kensington.
May the Holy Spirit bring peace to your souls
as we go through these unsettling times
and celebrate that Jesus is risen & will come again.
Rev. Peter Rombeek