May 1, 2020
Dear Siblings in Christ,
I write on behalf of the board of Anglican Deacons Canada. Rarely have any of us in our lifetimes experienced the challenges we are facing during the Pandemic. It is heartening to see the myriad and creative ways our church is reaching out to our communities. That takes energy, prayerfulness and commitment. We have been warned to expect our energy to be lower than normal, and most of us feel a deep commitment to our communities. That can be challenging.
Then, ten days ago, you and all Canadians, were shocked by the events of April 18th and 19th. Random violence across small interconnected communities. Words fail me.
A few days later I was in a Zoom meeting with the Chapter of Deacons on Vancouver Island. During our conversation I discovered that nearly half of the group had been directly impacted by those events through siblings, parents, cousins and life long friends. They shared stories of how people were managing. The consistent theme was the survivors felt buried under this unimaginable fear and inexplicable loss. The Deacons shared their helplessness at not being unable to reach out. They wanted to fly out, to re-assure themselves, to hold loved ones, to feel connected. I can only imagine how it is for each of you who are so close but yet so far away from those you would comfort and care for.
Now this week news from HMCS Fredericton and the loss of five members of our Canadian forces including three with roots in Nova Scotia. I know parts of your community are historically deeply connected those who serve in the forces. Another inexplicable loss. May you be encircled by Holy Spirit as you live with more trauma.
Please know that you are being prayerfully upheld personally and in your ministries as you continue to bring the face of Christ into such difficult realities. Please know we support you and are ready to connect and offer whatever nurture we can.
Archbishop Michael Curry in one of his recorded messages focused on the long-term impact of the pandemic asked, “what would unselfish love do?” The great commandment gives us a template and we know the love of the risen Christ will illuminate a new path in this very different world we inhabit.
Peace, prayer and love,
NancyThe Rev. Canon Nancy FordPresident, Anglican Deacons Canada