The World Health Organization has just named the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. This speaks to the intense spread of the virus and the numbers that are overwhelming health services across the globe. 90 percent of cases are in only four countries.
However, the WHO also highlights that every country, organization, and person can play a part in slowing the transmission of the disease. They emphasise that it is possible to make a read difference.
Please keep up to date with our local guidelines through this website: www.alberta.ca
In order to do our part, we will make a few changes in Sunday worship at St. Augustine's, in association with Bishop Jane's direction and in keeping with good health practice.
I (Jonathan+) had a chance to visit Boyle Street Community Services today while attending the Greater Edmonton Alliance institutional leader's meeting (Next meeting is March 25th - near Oliver Square - with lunch, want to come?!). During the meeting, we talked at length at how much of the media focus is on the effect of COVID-19 on travellers and 'regular' folk. However, there has been little said about how the virus will impact the homeless. Sarah, an ambassador with Boyle Street spoke of how hard it can be for homeless folk to find places to wash regularly at all times of the day, to rest when sick, and to otherwise to protect themselves.
**In light of this, I would invite us to not only care for ourselves but share with another: St. Augustine's will be receiving donations for Boyle Street Community Services between now and Easter to help them deal with extra health needs in this COVID-19 time. Please give generously. You may designate a cheque or give online on the website: https://www.staugustinesedmonton.com/give (choose the "Outreach Initiative" option to designate the gift. We will forward any funds received directly to Boyle Street.