We all have moments or events that forever change our lives; times when the veil of what we thought we knew is lifted from our eyes and our view of the world, and of each other, is never the same again. The global response to COVID-19 was one of those moments. We have seen the whole panoply of human reaction and response playing out in the midst of this crisis: from blind indifference, to willful ignorance, to hoarding vital supplies.
And yet we have seen acts of selfless-generosity as people open their hearts, help their neighbours with grocery and medication runs, or go above and beyond in steadfastly continuing to show Christ’s love for the helpless – as witnessed by our own relentless resolve to keep the Common Table open.
In the past two weeks, we have seen all our ministries creatively adapt to daily and unprecedented changes in our world and the ways in which we proclaim our faith by serving our community and one another. We have remained connected despite these challenges and limitations. We have reached out to one another, prayed for one another, and fed one another. Words fail when I try to express how proud and grateful I am for how all of our staff, leadership, and volunteers have risen to the challenge.
I know that most members of the community are facing some, if not significant, financial effects due to COVID-19. The reality we face together, is that in order to stay connected to one another, to offer creative and meaningful programs and worship, and to keep the Common Table a visible presence of Christ’s love for all, we need to maintain financial support for the parish. The viability of our ministries and the livelihood of our staff depend on it.
Parishes received a letter on Friday from Bishop Andrew, our diocesan bishop, describing a time of Jubilee. For the months of April and May, we will be forgiven our ‘debt’ to the diocese. Essentially our diocesan allotment and clergy salaries and benefits will be ‘forgiven’. This represents a savings for us of $30,000 per month toward our average monthly costs of $107,000.
This Jubilee humbles and inspires us, as a community, to similar acts of generosity, so that we may sustain Redeemer’s diverse and compassionate ministry, which we share. The Executive Committee, the Advisory Board, the Board of Management and the Stewardship Committee, join me in asking you to give generously, as you are able, to sustain our ministry.
We are asking everyone prayerfully to consider maintaining, increasing financial contributions, or perhaps making a donation for the first time:
- Online through CanadaHelps through the donate button below (making a one-time gift, increase your existing monthly donation or to use this method to become a monthly donor to help ensure predictable income)
- By cheque, mailed to the church office. The church address is 162 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1M4 (thanks to technology, we can still deposit cheques to our account!)
- By signing up for Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR) using this enrollment this form and returning it to the church office, as a way of ensuring a steady and predictable stream of revenue.
We are asking you so that we may continue to change lives. What we have learned in these first two weeks of COVID-19 is that we live entirely on the grace of God and the generosity of one another.
I continue to pray for you in the midst of these uncertain times and to thank God for you all!
Yours in Christ,
The Rev’d Canon Steven Mackison
And these members of the Executive Committee, Advisory Board, Board of Management and Stewardship Committee who were able to reply to the invitation to sign the letter before it was sent to the parish:
|Stephen Allen||Amber Aulen||Heather Bennett|
|David Burt||Ryan Carlsen||Karen Chandler|
|Ann Cope||Marg Creal||Sheree Drummond|
|Andrew Duffy||Anne Evers||Susan Graham Walker|
|The Rev’d Susan Haig||Richard Heystee||Frances Humphreys|
|Grant Jahnke||The Rev’d Roshni Jayawardena||David Pabke|
|Craig Spielmacher||John Sutton||David Townsend|
|Richard Van Delft||Karen Visser||Pauline Walsh|