Please note that updates will be provided here as they occur* Subscribe to MET Connect via the home page for email updates.
Met's Pandemic Coordination Team (PCT) is continuing to meet regularly to discuss our ongoing response to the pandemic. As was mentioned at our Annual General Meeting, our discussions are now more focused on how to safely re-open our Sanctuary and again begin worshipping together in person. For the month of July we will continue with online worship only. The board intends to meet for a special meeting in July at which time a decision will be made about whether to reopen in August. In the meantime, the PCT is focused on the procedures and protocols which must be in place in order to gather safely. We will continue to make worship services available online for those who will not be comfortable attending in person. We look forward to seeing many of you again in person in the near future.
A Letter from the Pandemic Coordination Team
We continue to meet regularly to formulate Met's response to Covid-19. We still do not know when physical meetings and worship may resume but are hopeful that some restrictions will be lifted in the near future.
Worship continues to be successfully live-streamed on Sunday mornings, filmed remotely from our minsters' and musicians' homes without using the physical space at Met. Staff are for the most part working remotely and are available by phone and email. The work of committees and programs continues virtually.
Representatives from St. Michael's Hospital have visited Met and reviewed our space for possible use by the hospital; we are continuing this discussion.
We hope everyone is staying safe, healthy and positive. We look forward to a time when we can all meet in person again.
- Kenneth Younie, Dr. Linn Holness, Jane Tuomi and Rev. Karen Bowles
MET Congregational Care
A group of dedicated folks is keeping in touch with all those in our community and are continuing to reach out offering help where needed. Tech help is being provided.
The Outreach team continues to respond to the needs of our community physically and spiritually. We are following a model that provides income to small businesses in the downtown core while meeting the needs of the community: 400 prepared meals/week to the drop-in at All Saints Church prepared by two catering companies, take-out meals accessible by funded chits from three restaurants in our community, and soon we will introduce a similar chit system at local laundromats. Additionally, our community service workers, Megan and Stephanie, are buying and delivering groceries, providing grocery cards and meeting with folks, taking appropriate precautions.
If you would like to support this work, donations to the Good Samaritan Fund are welcome.
Join Met for a live Worship broadcast from our Sanctuary, as well as the home of Rev. Jason Meyers, this Sunday, March 29 at 11:00 a.m. on Facebook (click the link through on our homepage). This service will be posted at metunited.ca later in the day, a podcast version will be available, and the sermon will additionally be posted.
Met has implemented a Pandemic Emergency Plan to protect the interests of our leadership, volunteers, staff, the congregation and the general public. We are responding to this ongoing and fast-moving situation. Met will continue to follow the recommendations of our public health officials as well as those of other federal, provincial and municipal leaders.
The church building is closed to the public until further notice. All in-person programming, services and meetings, including Sunday worship, are now formally cancelled up to and including April 5, 2020 (Palm Sunday).
We are looking forward to Worship this Sunday at 11:00 a.m. streamed live on Facebook from the home of Rev. Jason Meyers in East Gwillimbury, together with Rev. Karen Bowles and Dr. Patricia Wright leading from the Sanctuary of Metropolitan. We will make the video available in the afternoon, and a podcast version will also be posted on our site.
If you require assistance with technology, whether navigating metunited.ca, or signing up for a podcast source (e.g. Spotify), please don't hesitate to contact Charlie Davidson, communications specialist, via email (email@example.com) or by phone at 416-939-2135.
The work of Metropolitan continues. While we cannot collect offerings in person, there remain easy ways to contribute - through our Canada Helps page, or by mailing in envelopes and/or cheques to the church. We are grateful for your on-going support through this difficult situation. If you have any questions, please contact Elena Pejcinovska, Financial Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-363-0331 ext. 229.
Rev. Bowles and Rev. Meyers are connecting with many members and are determining the needs of our community in this challenging time. If you would like a pastoral phone call you can contact Karen at email@example.com (416-363-0331 ext. 227) or Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org (416-363-0331 ext. 224).
Committees continue to meet via Zoom teleconference. If you are having difficulty joining, please contact Rev. Jason Meyers or Charlie Davidson (info above).
Programs & Events
See below for several new and modified programs underway, including Virtual Coffee Time, Zoom Bible Study, and the Big Questions Course. We are saddened to postpone our Good Friday concert, but are hopeful to reschedule this great program as soon as possible!
Community Services Ministry
Megan Carver, our Outreach and Housing Worker, and Stephanie Cunti, our Community Service Worker, are continuing the important work of outreach, communicating with clients via text, email and phone, and are in the community on a case-by-case basis. Many of the city's most vulnerable are at further risk with a lack of safe and familiar spaces to seek shelter and access supports.
Administrative staff are working remotely but are still available by phone and email, so don't hesitate to be in touch.
As you are all no doubt aware, the WHO has declared the coronavirus a pandemic. We have been following the situation closely and have been instituting preventative and precautionary measures to keep congregation, staff and community safe.
Though we are not as impacted yet as other areas of the world, we have made the decision, in consultation with the Official Board and staff, to cancel in-person public worship services and civic and community meetings at Metropolitan, including Sunday March 15. We will offer worship via technology.
One of the foundations of Christian life is to offer and receive community and companionship. We also know that many who come through our doors are looking for support, particularly in times of crisis. We must balance this with the reality that it is communal gatherings that increase the risk of this infection spreading.
The following measures are effective immediately:
We do not take this decision lightly, as weekly worship is a core part of Christian practice and ministry. However, we recognize that as a cathedral we have a particular voice within and commitment to the community we serve. Folks worship here from many places. The message from public officials to cancel gatherings for a time in order to slow or stop transmission of this virus will alleviate the strain on our health care system and allow those who are suffering to receive timely treatment.
One of the marvels of this age is that we can do much via email, phone and other forms of electronic communication. Sharing joys and sorrows, providing comfort and a listening ear, and sharing together in worship can still happen, albeit in a different way. Please be and stay in touch with one another and the clergy.
We are closely following the situation and updates will be provided as the situation unfolds. If you have questions or comments please contact Rev. Karen Bowles (email@example.com), Rev. Jason Meyers (firstname.lastname@example.org) Kenneth Younie, chair of the Official Board (email@example.com) or Jane Tuomi, Director of Administration (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Rev. Karen Bowles, Rev. Jason Meyers and Dr. Patricia Wright
There is plenty of information out there regarding precautions to be taken to keep yourself, your family and community healthy. Here is a link to the City of Toronto coronavirus information site.