Premier Doug Ford announced yesterday that the whole of Ontario will enter another lockdown on December 26. On Boxing Day, all other Health Regions in the Diocese of Toronto will join the City of Toronto, Peel Health Region and York Health Region already under lockdown.
This means that the Diocese of Toronto in its entirety returns to our Red Stage Guidelines effective December 26. As is already the case, any parish may voluntarily choose to enter the Red Stage Guidelines at any time if that is the best decision for their community. Speak to your Area Bishop.
Under the Red Stage Guidelines, the only people permitted to access any of our buildings are those individuals – up to ten maximum – engaged in worship, primarily for the purposes of livestreaming and/or recording. Accessing our buildings for any other reason, apart from the provision of essential outreach ministry, must cease. There are to be no gatherings, meetings, appointments, children’s/youth events or office work happening at our buildings at this time. (Tenants and licensees who adhere to alternative provincially-mandated guidelines are excepted.)
Given the government announcement yesterday, we will be closing the Diocesan Centre in accordance with the restrictions imposed on non-essential businesses until further notice. We will continue to provide service to you, albeit remotely. (As a reminder, the Diocesan Centre staff are off for the Christmas break starting from the afternoon of Christmas Eve until Monday, January 4, 2021.) Please be in touch by phone and by email as we continue to serve the Diocese of Toronto in these extraordinary times.
We ask your fervent prayers for the health and safety of all our neighbours, especially our healthcare professionals and front-line workers. We ask that God give us the humility to do our part in this season of the Incarnation, when “…we worship and love the Word who is from the unbegotten and ineffable God, … that becoming a partaker of our sufferings, He might also bring us healing.” – Justin Martyr