We are living in uncertain times. Unprecedented times. With drastic actions being implemented around the world to try and “flatten the curve” of the Corona Virus. It means that many people face an uncertain future. The impact of this virus is not only to our health. For millions of people this will impact their livelihood, both in the short and in the long term.
It is understandable to feel fear and anxiety when the way in which we are, and must, respond to this crisis separates us from the very things that in any other crises would help to keep us grounded and connected. In many countries, including Ireland, church services have been stopped indefinitely. We are advised to practice social distancing, no hugging, no touching, the barest minimum of human contact.
In the midst of this, we hear many stories of human kindness. Medical personnel, care givers, security officers, emergency service providers and pastoral agents are all working tirelessly around the clock at great self-sacrifice. Community groups around Ireland are inundated with offers of help for the elderly, from shopping and delivering food and medication, to calling on the phone just for a chat. Restaurants, hotels and coffee shops that are fighting for their livelihoods are offering free refreshments for emergency service personnel. While we are all doing what we can for those who are most impacted by COVID-19, we would like to remind you that although you may not be able to visit with family and friends, and you are not able to attend church services and be gathered with your community, God is not confined to the church buildings and gathering places. God lives within each and every one of us. We need only still the noise within and remember “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
We encourage you to keep your faith. Practice kindness, be merciful with yourself, with your family members, with your neighbours, and with the stranger.
We ask that you join us in praying for all those around the world affected by COVID-19 and for those who have lost their lives and their loved ones. Pray for those who are on the front lines, those working in the clinics and the hospitals, all those in emergency services and who perform essential services in our communities.
We continue to pray for you all, that you may find comfort and joy and strength in the knowledge that God remains with us.
Should you have a need for special prayer, please follow the link below and submit your intention.
Kathleen McGarvey, OLA
18 March 2020